Tuesday, 24 October, 2017

Kent travellers among thousands affected by airline collapse

Grounded Monarch airplanes sit on the tarmac at Luton airport south England Grounded Monarch airplanes sit on the tarmac at Luton airport south England
Juana Turner | 03 October, 2017, 02:58

Customers who have booked flights only with Monarch Airlines from December 15 onward are not ATOL protect and will not be eligible for compensation from the CAA.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has launched the biggest ever peacetime repatriation to fly 110,000 stranded Monarch passengers back to the UK.

According to the regulator, all Monarch customers who are overseas and due to return to the United Kingdom in the next two weeks will be flown home at no extra cost.

On the other hand Andrew Swaffiled, Monarch chief executive, said that the root cause of the financial woes was the string of terror attacks in Egypt and Tunisia, plus the collapse of the market in Turkey.

Regulator the Civil Aviation Authority said the "unprecedented" situation meant the Government has asked it to co-ordinate flights back to the United Kingdom for all Monarch customers now overseas.

Monarch customers in the United Kingdom have been advised not to go to the airport as there will be no more Monarch flights operating. As of today all future flights and holidays with Monarch are cancelled. Anyone who fits that description should check this page for details of their new flight.

Ali Al-Ahmar, 23, from Wollaton, was due to fly back home with Monarch on Tuesday evening (October 3) along with girlfriend Rachel Skelton from a holiday in Cala d'Or, Mallorca. "We ask customers to bear with us as we work around the clock to bring everyone home".

Customers who do not have an ATOL protected holiday will not have their flights automatically rebooked.

Administrator Blair Nimmo said the company, which employs around 2,100 people across its airline and tour group, had struggled with mounting costs and competitive market conditions that saw it suffer a period of sustained losses.

Some 300 000 future Monarch bookings were cancelled, PA reported.

Monarch had been in last-ditch talks with the CAA about renewing its licence to sell package holidays.

Monarch, one of the UK's oldest airlines, announced it was ceasing trading on Sunday.

Customers who have booked flights with the airline before 14 December past year will have received an ATOL Certificate stating that their flight was protected with First Aviation.

- If you have booked to travel to the United Kingdom and then to a non-UK country, you will be able to fly to the United Kingdom on a replacement flight but you will need to book new transport home.

ATOL is the scheme which protects customers from losing their money if a company stops trading so these customers should be entitled to refunds.

The CAA will refund these bookings "by the end of 2017 at the latest".

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