Monarch has collapsed into administration. The airline, which is Britain’s fifth most popular, had dramatically increased prices in a bid to prevent would-be passengers buying tickets. The following day, the accountants KPMG announced, all outbound flights from the UK had been cancelled. The firm added that flights returning to the UK for two weeks would be replaced with alternatives arranged by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). The 110,000 Monarch customers currently abroad will be repatriated at no cost to them.
KPMG announced the appointment of Blair Nimmo, Jim Tucker and Mike Pink as administrators to take over management of the airline.
Mr Nimmo, Partner at KPMG and Joint Administrator to the companies, said at the time of the appointment: “Mounting cost pressures and increasingly competitive market conditions in the European short-haul market have contributed to the Monarch Group experiencing a sustained period of trading losses. This has resulted in Management appointing us as administrators in the early hours of this morning.
“While this timing is unusual in insolvency situations, it was necessary for the appointment to be made once all Monarch aircraft were on the ground. This only occurs in the early hours of the morning. Once the company entered insolvency, the Air Operating Certificate it needs to be able to fly was effectively suspended, which is why all outbound flights were cancelled with immediate effect.
“Our primary focus … is to work with the Civil Aviation Authority to provide the infrastructure and information needed to help the Government and CAA with the safe repatriation of approximately all the 110,000 customers who are currently overseas and due to travel back to the UK within the next two weeks. This includes all those whose trip is not specifically covered by ATOL protection. The CAA has provided funding to enable the Group to retain a number of employees to assist us with the provision of this information.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling added “This is a hugely distressing situation for British holidaymakers abroad – and my first priority is to help them get back to the UK.
“That is why I have immediately ordered the country’s biggest ever peacetime repatriation to fly about 110,000 passengers who could otherwise have been left stranded abroad. This is an unprecedented response to an unprecedented situation. Together with the CAA, we will work around the clock to ensure Monarch passengers get the support they need. Nobody should underestimate the size of the challenge, so I ask passengers to be patient and act on the advice given by the CAA.”