The UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is still struggling to bring home the remainder of some 110,000 travelers who were left stranded this past Monday (Oct. 2) when Monarch Airlines ceased operations, cancelled all flights and filed for bankruptcy. The action also resulted in the shutdown of the airline’s tour operator unit, Monarch Holidays.
The airline, whose only scheduled service from the UK to the USA was a low-fare route to Orlando’s Sanford Airport, had been struggling of late, following two years during which traffic on flights and packages to Egypt, Tunisia and Turkey had fallen off in the wake of terrorist attacks on UK holidaymakers visiting the region.
Monarch ceased operations after failing to reach an agreement with regulators to extend the company’s license to sell package holidays to overseas destinations.
The airline had been trying to make a shift from short-haul flights to long-haul travel to reduce losses as consumers shied away from Middle Eastern and North African destinations.
According to published reports, Monarch’s collapse represents the biggest ever failure of a British airline. KPMG partner Blair Nimmo said administrators are now considering breaking up the company as no buyer has been found to purchase Monarch in its entirety. Counting the airline and tour operator business, the company had 2,100 employees.
Of these, administrators said 1,858 staff had been made redundant, with the remaining workers helping to bring back 110,000 Monarch holidaymakers from overseas.