CAA launches flying programme to bring 110,000 customers back to UK in response to Monarch Airlines administration
Monarch Airlines has ceased trading with immediate effect, leaving 110,000 customers overseas and in the region of 300,000 future bookings cancelled
Government has asked CAA to charter more than 30 aircraft to bring back to the UK Monarch Airlines customers currently overseas
Monarch customers in the UK and yet to travel: don’t go to the airport. There will be no more Monarch flights
Monarch customers abroad: everyone due to fly in the next fortnight will be brought back to the UK at no cost to them. There is no need to cut short your stay
All affected customers should check new website monarch.caa.co.uk for more information
All future Monarch Airlines bookings, including flights and holidays, have now been cancelled following a decision by the company’s board to stop trading. This is the UK’s largest ever airline to enter administration.
As all of Monarch’s flights due to depart from the UK have now been cancelled, customers should not go to their UK airport. Affected customers still in the UK should check monarch.caa.co.uk for further information.
Due to the unprecedented number of UK consumers currently overseas who are affected by this airline administration, the CAA and Government are securing a fleet of more than 30 aircraft, flying to more than 30 airports, to bring 110,000 people back to the UK at no cost to them. This is the equivalent of operating, at very short notice, one of the UK’s largest airlines.
The CAA has a dedicated website monarch.caa.co.uk, which is the best source of advice and information for affected customers, and a 24 hour helpline (0300 303 2800 from in the UK and Ireland, and +44 1753 330330 from overseas) to provide additional assistance.
Customers currently overseas should check monarch.caa.co.uk for confirmation of their new flight details which will be available a minimum of 48 hours in advance of their original departure time. This website will be frequently updated with the latest information. Customers currently overseas shouldn’t go to the airport unless their flight back to the UK has been confirmed on monarch.caa.co.uk
Andrew Haines, Chief Executive of the CAA, said:
“We know that Monarch’s decision to stop trading will be very distressing for all of its customers and employees.
“This is the biggest UK airline ever to cease trading, so the Government has asked the CAA to support Monarch customers currently abroad to get back to the UK at the end of their holiday at no extra cost to them.
“We are putting together, at very short notice and for a period of two weeks, what is effectively one of the UK’s largest airlines to manage this task. The scale and challenge of this operation means that some disruption is inevitable. We ask customers to bear with us as we work around the clock to bring everyone home.
“We urge people affected by the company’s collapse to check our dedicated website monarch.caa.co.uk for advice and information on flights back to the UK. It also gives information to those passengers that have future bookings with Monarch but are yet to leave the UK.”
The CAA will be providing regular updates.
A group of women off on a hen weekend was dragged off a Ryanair plane by the National
Police for ‘behaving like animals’, in the words of other passengers.
The six British girls, who appeared to be in their late 20s, were already tipsy when they
boarded the flight at Liverpool airport and spent the flight drinking copious amounts of
vodka, shouting, swearing and using sexually-explicit language, and even ended up fighting
in the aisle.
Passengers described their behaviour as ‘unacceptable’ and ‘vile’, saying the women were ‘a
drunken mess’ and had been ‘acting like creatures’. Ryanair cabin crew and the pilots made
the decision to continue the flight to its destination, Alicante, but called the police just before
landing. Officers were waiting on the runway to frogmarch the women out.
After landing, and before the seatbelt signs had gone off, they were already up and dragging
their hand luggage from the overhead compartments, continuing to yell and swear. Other
travellers booed at them as desperate cabin crew tried as politely as possible to make them sit
When the police came and the women were eventually taken off the aircraft as crew told
them to ‘get out’, passengers cheered and clapped at staff and one little girl was even heard
shouting, “¡Hasta luego!”
But the raucous group, far from showing remorse for putting travellers through what some of
them called ‘the worst flight they had ever been on’, was actually proud of their behaviour.
One of them, identified as Emma Yates, wrote on Facebook: “Only us that can get escorted of
[sic] plane by the Spanish police.”
She also posted the status update, in these exact words: “Yes we was [sic] drunk. Yes we was
[sic] embarrassed but eh a group of girls on holiday having fun…so wot not a***d bout wot
people think or say!! Like u aint never done it!!”
Whilst other travellers on the flight felt it would have served the women right if they had
been emergency-landed and returned home to Liverpool, they did in fact make it to their
Benidorm hotel for their hen weekend and proudly posted selfies lying by the swimming pool
with captions such as, ‘steaming!’ and ‘OMG it's boiling hot’.
Irish low-cost airline Ryanair is planning to capitalise on Spain’s tourism bonanza by opening up new routes from the country where it is already the market leader. As of February, the carrier plans to launch flights from Madrid to the Italian city of Bari, and to Glasgow and Prague, while Barcelona is expected to see new services to Krakow, Luxembourg, Prague and Venice.
At the same time, the airline will extend its winter flight schedule for both Madrid and the Catalan capital and boost the number of flights on a total of 12 existing routes from the two cities.
Under the plans, Ryanair forecasts it will carry 6.7 million people a year out of Madrid, or 12 percent more than current capacity, while the predicted rise in passenger numbers from Barcelona is 10 percent to 7.1 million.
The company headed by Michael O’Leary built on its position as the biggest airline in Spain in 2016, carrying 34.7 million passengers, a number it hopes will grow to 38 million this year, according to the carrier’s marketing director Kenny Jacobs.
The executive said Ryanair would pass savings on to customers in the wake of a Spanish government move to reduce airport taxes by 11 percent until 2021. The average ticket price for Ryanair flights in 2016 was €46 but this is expected to come down to €41 at the end of March. That’s against an average of €151 across all other airlines, according to estimates made by the Irish carrier.
Jacobs said the airline would continue to focus on short- and medium-haul flights in Europe with plans to add 220 new planes to its current fleet by 2024, but he noted that Ryanair was also looking at cooperating with IAG and Norwegian on long-haul flights.
Ryanair has advised passengers that if they fail to comply with new more flexible cabin baggage rules, tougher restrictions could once again come into force. Currently passengers on the airline can bring one cabin bag weighing up to 10 kilograms with maximum dimensions of 55cm x 40cm x 20cm, plus one small bag up to 35cm x 20cm x 20cm on board the aircraft.
But Ryanair’s marketing director Kenny Jacobs said many passengers had abused the system over the summer by trying to bring large pieces of luggage on board, especially backpacks. This delays flights and puts the airline’s punctuality record at risk, he said.
While Jacobs said the airline had improved its image with its ‘Always Getting Better’ program, he said staff had been told to be especially vigilant when it comes to cabin baggage weighing over 10 kilograms and to ensure the second item of baggage is not oversize.
Easyjet launches ten new routes
Airline doubles growth
British low-cost airline easyJet has announced that it is planning to start operating 10 new international routes to and from Spain. The company said that the new flights on offer will increase the number of seats available to and from Spain by 11 percent. This equates to 16.4 million in 2017, compared with 14.7 million in 2016.
The airline plans to open a new base in Palma de Mallorca, start operations in two new airports in Granada in southern Spain and La Palma (Canary Islands), and to add a fourth plane to its fleet in Barcelona. Javier Gándara, General Manager of easyJet Spain, said this expansion will create around 150 jobs.
The new routes will be Valencia to Hamburg, Valencia to Toulouse, Palma de Mallorca to Venice, Granada to Milan, Granada to Manchester, Bilbao to Paris, Santiago de Compostela to Milan, Menorca to London – and the one of most interest to Costa Blanca People readers – Murcia to London, the company said.
Gándara added that easyJet is not considering increasing routes to and from the Spanish capital, given that a large number of flights from competing airlines already take off from Madrid-Barajas Adolfo Suárez Airport, and there is not the same scope for growth as at other airports. The company closed its base of operations in Madrid two years ago.
In the wake of the United Kingdom vote to leave the European Union, easyJet, the fourth most popular airline in Spain, is planning to protect itself against the possible effects of so-called “Brexit” by applying for a license in an EU country so that it can continue operating its European routes, Gándara explained. Currently, more than 50 percent of the company’s flights take off and land outside of the UK.
The low-cost carrier also predicts that the cost of tickets will continue to decrease over the next year, despite the possibility of oil prices increasing.
When asked about remarks made by Michael O’Leary, CEO of easyJet competitor Ryanair, who recently stated that within the next five or 10 years the Irish airline will be able to give tickets away for free, Gándara was dismissive. O’Leary’s comments, which made reference to the profits budget airlines can make from selling passengers optional extras and airport taxes, were, said the easyJet chief, “free and easy publicity.”