The airlines has canceled all future bookings. The British government is making efforts at bring back all of Monarch’s stranded passengers back to the UK.
On Monday, in a development that has prompted what is slated to be Britain’s biggest peacetime repatriation efforts, Britain’s Monarch Airlines has collapsed, marking the biggest ever failure for a British airline.
As a result, tens of thousands of travelers across the country and overseas, have been left stranded.
Monarch has canceled nearly 300,000 future bookings and has apologized to customers and staff as it became the UK’s largest carrier to go into administration.
“I am so sorry that thousands now face a canceled holiday or trip, possible delays getting home and huge inconvenience as a result of our failure,” said Andrew Swaffield, Monarch’s Chief Executive to employees in a message.
“I am truly sorry that it has ended like this.”
As per Chris Grayling, UK’s transport secretary, the company fell victim to a price war over flights to the Mediterranean and told customers not to come to airports.
“We are doing our best to make sure that those people who are stranded and can’t get back otherwise will be able to do so,” said Grayling to the BBC while adding that he expects the bulk of Monarch’s 2,000 staff to get pink slips and find jobs elsewhere.
As per the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), the British government has asked it to charter more than 30 aircrafts to bring back 110,000 Monarch customers, who are currently overseas, to the UK.
Heightened competition in the airlines industry has led many European airlines towards consolidation; earlier this year, Air Berlin and Alitalia had filed for insolvency and had sought to divest parts of their businesses to new investors.
The bankruptcy is likely to increase the headache for some of the world’s largest leasing companies, which financed Monarch’s current fleet of 36 Airbus jets, and Boeing Co’s 32 of 737 MAX aircrafts.
None of the planes have yet been delivered.
“We are working with the joint administrators and the CAA to do everything we possibly can to help minimize disruption where we can, but are under no illusion as to the problems this will cause,” said Monarch’s Swaffield in a statement.
“And many suppliers will suffer hugely as a result of our insolvency – for which I am equally sorry.”
On Monday, as per Flightradar24, a flight tracking service, nearly 25 aircrafts had been lined up to start repatriating passengers by 0600 GMT, including 10 from Qatar Airways which are based in Europe on behalf of British Airways.
An EasyJet airplane and several charter aircraft were also part of the operation.
Wizz Air, a Hungarian low-cost carrier, has stated it was willing to fly stranded Monarch passengers home from Tel Aviv for $159 (119 pounds) each.
The following companies have gone into administration: Monarch Airlines, Somewhere2stay Ltd, Monarch Holidays Ltd, First Aviation Ltd and Avro Ltd.
($1 = 0.7488 pounds)