DALLAS — Monarch Airlines, the iconic British carrier that ceased operations in October 2017, has announced its relaunch after successfully transferring to new ownership after a six-year pause.
The company, which will promote itself as a premium alternative to competing low-cost leisure carriers in the United Kingdom, has revealed details about its imminent relaunch to Airways via an exclusive interview with Daniel Ellingham, Chairman of the Board at Monarch.
Mr. Ellingham said, “I am honored to be able to lead the iconic Monarch brand into a new era, now 55 years after it first took to the skies…It is immensely rewarding to know that we are soon going to launch a new and strong company for the UK tourism sector.”
At the time of this writing, Monarch is in the beginning phase of their operational comeback and has received initial investments from firms in the European Union and the United Kingdom.
A Changing Market During the Last Lustrum
Between the last scheduled flight of the former Monarch Airlines before their bankruptcy until August this year, the commercial aviation industry has seen two significant crises severely affect the behavior of air travel demand, airports, and airlines in Europe. The collapse of the original Monarch, according to its Chairman, could be partially attributed to political instability in its key tourist destinations, such as Egypt.
However, as of 2023, and now that the COVID-19 pandemic is a concern that has already taken a backseat in the strategies of airlines, new startup carriers, and relaunches, they are now focusing on covering the gaps left by the crises in the high-risk, high-reward European tourism market.
“There are numerous opportunities yet to be filled by other operators; many of these cover some of the former Monarch’s key markets, meaning that there is the opportunity for newcomers such as ourselves to step up and meet demand,” said Ellingham.
The Current Situation at “Let’s Monarch”
As of August 2023, Monarch Airlines has taken the first steps toward its goal of operating revenue flights. The carrier has secured crucial investors both nationally, in the United Kingdom, as well as internationally in the neighboring European Union. On the other hand, while no official AOC application has been sent to the Civil Aviation Authority, they expect to make initial contact with the CAA in three to four weeks.
As well, Monarch has just initiated its promotion and advertisement on various online platforms such as Instagram, the former Twitter “X” platform, as well as launched an official Facebook account and reactivated a website, all under the brand name “Let’s Monarch,” which is the official nickname that has been chosen for its monitoring in social media.
Along with the launch of Monarch Airlines, the company stated that there will be an accompanying Monarch Holidays venture in the form of an online travel agent, and this will be completely integrated into the airline business.
Monarch Airlines Future Aspirations
On the last day of operations, Monarch Airlines counted a consolidated fleet of 35 aircraft belonging to the Airbus A320 family, as well as a single Boeing 737-800 registered as G-ZBAV. Now, with the relaunch of the company, the Chairman declared that they are envisaging the use of the A320 series again and are currently in talks with another UK-based company to arrange the acquisition of up to 15 aircraft.
Monarch maintained their main hub at London-Luton International Airport (LTN) and operated four additional bases across the United Kingdom, including Birmingham (BHX), Leeds-Bradford (LBA), London-Gatwick (LGW), and Manchester Airport (MAN).
Today, however, the airline is still yet to establish firm communications with airports, although Daniel Ellingham said, “The intended locations will not come as a surprise to anybody familiar with the previous Monarch Airlines”.
The new Monarch hopes to implement industry-leading sustainability initiatives, including the use of Sustainable Aviation Fuel and a variety of eco-friendly products throughout their operation. A new launch tagline, Celebrating a New Monarch, makes it clear that this time, they are a brand new company.
Featured image: Alberto Cucini/Airways