UK completes flights for stranded Monarch passengers

Short-haul British carrier Monarch Airlines declared bankruptcy on October 2 after failing to secure fresh capital or sell the business, causing 2,000 people to lose their jobs.
Short-haul British carrier Monarch Airlines declared bankruptcy on October 2 after failing to secure fresh capital or sell the business, causing 2,000 people to lose their jobs.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (AFP) - UK authorities on Monday (Oct 16) said they had completed a programme to fly back to Britain tens of thousands of passengers stranded following the collapse of Monarch Airlines a fortnight ago.

"This has been a phenomenal challenge and one that has required the cooperation and support of many businesses, government departments and individuals," Andrew Haines, chief executive of the Civil Aviation Authority regulator, said in a statement.

The CAA said it had flown back to Britain a total of 83,875 passengers.

A spokesman for the regulator said some 25,000 additional passengers had made their own arrangements - after the CAA originally noted that 110,000 flyers had been affected by the collapse of Monarch.

"We've operated almost 570 dedicated flights to return passengers to the UK, with 98 percent of passengers arriving home on the day of their original" scheduled return, added Haines.

A total of 60 aircraft from 27 airlines were used in the repatriation.

Short-haul British carrier Monarch Airlines declared bankruptcy on October 2 after failing to secure fresh capital or sell the business, causing 2,000 people to lose their jobs.

Monarch had been badly hit by a legacy of weak demand in previously key markets Turkey, Tunisia and Egypt that have each suffered terrorist attacks in recent years.

In turn, these events have sparked fierce competition and oversupply for popular destinations Portugal and Spain.