After Alitalia and Air Berlin, yet another European airline has bit the dust. This time, it was Britain’s fifth largest airline – Monarch Airlines.
Was this expected?
It was in September last year, when first rumours surfaced that Monarch was struggling to reobtain its Civil Aviation Authority ATOL (Air Travel Organisers’ Licensing) license. The ATOL license is supposed to offer financial protection to customers who purchase holiday packages and is required in the UK for legal operation of an airline. Obtaining the license does involve financial checks.
But the British airline was able to source additional funds and concerns vanished. A year later however, September 2017, the same discussion came up again and now it did seem to have a point. The Civil Aviation Authority had already begun getting planes from other airlines on standby to possibly get holidayers back home, should Monarch not make the leap this year – and it didn’t.
On October 1, the Sunday evening flight to Ibiza was cancelled apparently right during boarding, the license expired and Monarch went into administration.
That leaves 110.000 current and 300.000 future passengers without flights. Affected passengers can head here for further details on what to do.
The Civil Aviation is hard at work getting charter planes from other airlines, even including Quatar Airways, ready to bring affected passengers back home. However, this will not happen overnight.
Monarch’s staff is not left without choice though, it is no secret for example that Ryanair is desperately looking for more staff.