Monarch cri­sis: Air­lift plan for 100,000 Brits

Trou­bled air­line could go bust to­day

Daily Mirror - - NEWS - BY GRA­HAM HISCOTT Head of Business gra­ham.hiscott@mir­

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

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