SHORTLY before dawn on October 2nd, startled passengers booked to fly on Monarch Airlines began to get text messages informing them that their flights had been cancelled. It was the first news that Britain’s fifth-biggest airline had ceased trading and was in administration.
The government had been warned that Monarch was in trouble only a month before, so a prepared rescue plan quickly took off. Over 30 aircraft were hired to bring back about 110,000 passengers from abroad in what was billed as the country’s biggest peacetime repatriation. A further 860,000 people lost forward bookings, and with them weddings, birthday jollies and more.
It is the third business failure for Monarch’s secretive private-equity owners, Greybull Capital. Greybull bought Monarch in 2014, when the airline was already struggling, from the Swiss-Italian Mantegazza family who had set it up in 1968. Greybull pumped money into Monarch, but the airline had still been expected to lose…Continue reading