Monarch Airlines, the UK's fifth largest airline, has entered administration and ceased trading. The airline was founded in 1968 and has headquarters at Luton Airport as well as bases at London Gatwick, Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds Bradford Airport. Monarch operates both short and long haul flights to multiple worldwide destinations and with the airline entering administration over 850,000 customers stand to lose their bookings with some requiring the CAA to arrange return flights home.
The airline made a loss of £291m last year, a stark contrast to the £27m profit made for the year before. The decline in revenues has largely been attributed to the increase in terrorism in Egypt and Tunisia, two of Monarch's key markets. Increased fuel prices and handling charges have also contributed to an increase in costs as well as the changes in the value of the pound.
Monarch employs approximately 2,750 staff who are now out of a job. The airline has stated it will work with the administrators and the unions to help employees find a new job as quickly as possible.