The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) flew nearly 12,000 passengers affected by the collapse of Monarch Airlines back to the UK yesterday, with a similar number due to return today (October 3).
Monarch ceased trading in the early hours of October 2, leaving 110,000 customers abroad with no return flights and hundreds of thousands more with cancelled holidays and flights. The CAA immediately launched a recovery programme to acquire more than 30 planes to help stranded passengers get home. The organisation plans to continue ‘rescue’ flights until October 15.
The collapse is the largest in history for a UK airline and has left nearly 1,900 staff jobless. Chief executive Andrew Swaffield has apologised to customers on the BBC’s Today programme and blamed the collapse on a “reduction in ticket prices” due to problems with terrorism and “the closure of some markets like Turkey, Tunisia and Egypt”.
Customers affected by the cancellations are advised to continue checking the CAA’s dedicated Monarch website – monarch.caa.co.uk – for updates on replacement flights to the UK and how to claim a refund for your tickets.