Monarch crisis: Airlift plan for 100,000 Brits
Troubled airline could go bust today
SOME 100,000 Monarch customers were at risk of being stranded abroad last night as a crunch deadline passed in the stricken airline’s fight to avoid collapse.
The Government was said to be planning to help with a mass repatriation if the firm crashes into administration – with the Foreign Office alerting consulates in its destination cities to call in additional staff.
And the Civil Aviation Authority was said to have chartered up to 10 A320 planes from Gulf airline Qatar.
The future of Monarch is hanging by a thread after a deadline to renew its Air Travel Organiser’s Licence, which allows it to sell package holidays, expired at midnight last night. The firm had been granted a 24-hour extension to give boss Andrew Swaffield and his team time to prove to the CAA that its finances were stable for the next 12 months. As desperate travellers asked for updates on social media, a Monarch statement would only confirm flights were operating as scheduled “today”, adding: “Any changes to the forward schedule will be communicated.” The CAA would not comment ahead of the deadline. Monarch could still get another extension as talks go on. Meanwhile, rivals including easyJet and WizzAir reportedly tabled bids for parts of its business recently. Pilots at crisis-hit Ryanair, which cancelled flights for 750,000 passengers amid a rota fiasco a week ago, are claimed to be threatening to ground the budget airline unless boss Michael O’Leary is sacked or resigns.
CRISIS Monarch’s customers were desperate for news on flights yesterday BOSS Swaffield