Monarch: the king of all falls

02 Oct 2017

Monarch, has announced the end of its reign as the fifth largest airline in the UK. In the early hours of this morning it entered administration, leaving a trail of destruction with 2,000 job losses, and the cancellation of 300,000 flights to rival Ryanair’s on-going fiasco.

Where did it all go so wrong?

Monarch was founded in 1968 and grew rapidly to become an all-jet fleet by 1976. By 1981, Monarch was flying a million passengers to several destinations in Europe from popular UK airports, such as Manchester, Leeds-Bradford, Gatwick and its Luton HQ.

The airline adopted the low-cost model in 2004 to keep pace with rivals EasyJet, but this was the beginning of its demise. Flights at some destinations were dropped due to low demand and leased planes were quickly returned.

Despite a small profit in 2010 of £1.4million, it reported a £45 million loss in the financial year ending 31 October 2011 as a result of high fuel prices. A higher terrorism threat has also proved to be difficult for trading conditions; Egypt and Turkey provided a key chunk of revenue for the airline and subsequent terror attacks left the airline deprived from the resulting weaker demand. The Brexit vote seemingly provided the final nail in the coffin, as the weak pound impacted on handling charges. Last year, Monarch suffered a £291 million loss and as at 04.00am BST on 2 October 2017, the airline announced its collapse.

Customers on holiday at the moment should not fear, however, as in a statement seemingly designed to rival Churchill and stir up thoughts of D-Day war efforts,  the Transport Secretary  Chris Grayling was keen to tell us of the record-breaking size of the repatriation laid on by the UK government . 

This tale does make you wonder how Ryanair can haemorrhage money though ‘self-foot shooting ‘ and survive (assuming it does). On the plus side, perhaps for Ryanair Monarch represents the ‘organ donor’ of pilots it didn’t know it was waiting for.

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