As we predicted from a valued City source Monarch Airlines has secured funding from its main shareholder and the Civil Aviation Authority has renewed the all important ATOL licence for a further 12 months.
(As an example for travellers: The UK holiday pound: 20 euros today cost £18 including commission at M&S Foreign Exchange )
The airline, which was seemingly hours away from calling administrators, has secured its Air Travel Operators’ Licence for another year, in a rescue deal that went down to the wire, reports The Telegraph.
An ATOL licence can only be awarded to airlines that can satisfy the Civil Aviation Authority’s financial health checklist. Monarch announced the renewal on the very last day of the 12-day extension it had been awarded, and to add to the drama, at the last minute, its senior executive cancelled a long standing overseas speaking engagement.
Monarch is in the second year of a turnaround plan under Greybull Capital, which rescued the airline in October 2014, when it pumped in an initial investment of £125m. Greybull also slashed costs, savagely reduced the payroll, pulled out of long-haul flights and retired, sold on many of the airline’s older planes.
Monarch concentrating on North Africa and Egypt has faced one of the most difficult travel markets in decades, following a series of terror attacks. The unexpected Brexit outcome created additional uncertainty and now the falling pound is a problem for all airlines as business is conducted worldwide in US$!. It is however expected to post pre-tax profits of £40m this year.
Andrew Swaffield, Monarch’s chief executive, (who must by now have a wardrobe full of brown trousers) had assured staff that the rescue deal would go through, but warned that it would not conclude ( or be valid ) before the day of the deadline. Gulp!
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