MIAMI — The contingency plan that was launched by the UK government following the collapse of budget and holiday carrier Monarch Airlines, has returned nearly 80,000 stranded passengers back to their home country.
The country’s fifth largest holiday and budget carrier ceased operations last week, affecting more than 870,000 booked passengers.
— Dept for Transport (@transportgovuk) October 9, 2017
The British Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is working on the repatriation of Monarch customers who were left stranded around the world. More than 400 planes from different airlines—including Qatar Airways, and EasyJet—have been leased or chartered to carry out “the biggest peacetime repatriation effort” in UK’s history, the Government branch said in a statement.
— Benjamin Bearup (@TheAviationBeat) October 6, 2017
Chris Grayling, UK Transport Secretary, claims that only 75% of the total 110,000 passengers that were affected by the airline’s sudden shutdown have been repatriated. On Saturday, over 11,000 passengers were transported back to the UK on more than 50 chartered flights.
The remaining customers who had booked tickets with Monarch Airlines and had Air Travel Organiser’s Licence (ATOL) protection, may be subject to a refund. KPMG, the airline’s administrators, estimates that the number of passengers with such insurance protection is within the 10-15% range, coming up with a figure of £21m worth of refunds.
The Transport Secretary also noted that the almost 2,000 former Monarch employees “will receive all the support they need,” and airlines like EasyJet will run recruitment sessions for both pilots and crew, opening up to 500 job positions.
Meanwhile, the airline industry in Europe continues to face tough times as Air Berlin is expected to cease operations in less than four weeks, Alitalia battles against uncertainty, and Ryanair increases its efforts into regaining normal operations.