The U.K.’s biggest peacetime repatriation operation has been launched…
To bring home 110,000 holidaymakers after Monarch Airlines was placed into administration. A total of 300,000 future bookings were cancelled as result of the firm’s collapse, the largest to hit a U.K. airline, and Monarch passengers were told not to go to airports because there would be no more flights. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said it was working with the government to secure a fleet of more than 30 aircraft, flying to more than 30 airports, to bring the stranded tourists back to the UK. “I know that Monarch’s decision to stop trading will be very distressing for all of its customers and employees.”
“This is the biggest U.K. airline ever to cease trading, so the Government has asked the CAA to support Monarch customers currently abroad to get back to the U.K. at the end of their holiday at no extra cost to them.” The regulator said all Monarch customers who were overseas and due to return to the U.K. in the next fortnight would be flown home and they did not need to cut short their holiday. He urged affected customer to check their dedicated website, monarch.caa.co.uk, for more advice.
The Government warned passengers to expect disruption and delay as it works to ensure there are enough flights to return the “huge number” of passengers. Commenting on the “extraordinary operation”, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: “This is a hugely distressing situation for British holidaymakers abroad – and my first priority is to help them get back to the UK. “That is why it ordered the country’s biggest ever peacetime repatriation to fly about 110,000 passengers who could otherwise have been left stranded abroad.”
The airline’s Air Travel Organiser’s Licence expired at one minute to midnight on 30 September. It was given a 24-hour extension but it has not been renewed. Roughly 110,000 Monarch customers are currently abroad, with many facing uncertainty about their journey back to the UK. Of these, thousands are thought to be British. Before the news was announced, scores of worried Monarch customers took to social media in a search for clarity and advice over the situation.
Article credit: The Telegraph
Photo credit: Press Association