THE collapse of Monarch Airlines into administration came as no surprise as the airline had been in financial trouble for some time.
However, the dramatic 4am timing of the announcement on October 2 still came as a shock to the more than 100,000 stranded passengers and over 2,000 airline staff.
Andrew Swaffield, chief executive of Monarch which operated services from Gibraltar to Gatwick, Manchester, Luton and Birmingham, apologised for the huge disruption to passengers that the action had caused.
He said that the airline was carrying 14% more passengers for £100 million less revenue and that the ‘root cause’ of Monarch’s demise was the fall in revenue through terror attacks in various locations around the world.
The company was badly affected by the bombing of a Russian aircraft in Egypt in 2015. The terrorist attack on a beach in Tunisia that left 30 Britons dead the same year devastated flights into the country as did a 2016 attempted coup in Turkey.
Administrator Blair Nimmo said Monarch had struggled with increased costs and the reduction of lucrative markets to Turkey, Egypt and Tunisia saw it suffer a period of sustained losses.
The early morning timing of the announcement was due entirely to finding a window when all of the airline fleet was grounded.
Mr Nimmo said: “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 addition to the challenge of getting passengers home, some 300,000 future bookings have been cancelled with passengers warned not to attend for flights as none will be available.