Monarch goes bust
Monarch Airlines has ceased trading and its 300,000 future bookings for flights and holidays have been cancelled.
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) confirmed the news after recent rumours revealed the airline has been struggling.
About 110,000 customers are currently overseas. The government has asked the CAA to charter more than 30 planes to bring them back to the UK.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has said that this process is the UK’s “biggest ever peacetime repatriation”.
The airline which employs about 2,100 people and reported a £291m loss in 2016.
Monarch is the UK’s fifth biggest and the country’s largest ever to collapse. It was placed in administration at 04:00 BST – a time when there were no Monarch planes in the air.
Passengers, many of whom were already at airports, were then sent text messages informing them flights had been cancelled.
In all, the 300,000 cancellations could affect up to 750,000 people.
Also in the UK, the big low-cost airline Ryanair cancelled 20,000 upcoming flights, affecting around 400,000 customers.
Monarch reported a loss of £291m for the year to October 2016, after revenues slumped. The airline had however announced a profit of £27m the previous 12 months.
It had been in last-ditch talks with the CAA about renewing its licence to sell package holidays. The airline had until midnight on 1 October to reach a deal, but failed to do so.
Blair Nimmo, from administrator KPMG, said its collapse was a result of “depressed prices in the short haul travel market. This was alongside increased fuel costs and handling charges as a result of a weak pound.
Monarch chief executive Andrew Swaffield said the “root cause” of its financial problems was terror attacks in Egypt and Tunisia. He also as well as the collapse of the market in Turkey.