British airline Monarch has ceased all of its operations with immediate affect after the company entered a form of bankruptcy, leaving 110,000 customers stranded overseas, the country’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said on Monday.
All flights and operations were immediately canceled on early Monday morning after the company’s board decided to stop trading. It makes Monarch Airlines the largest ever British airline to enter administration, which is a form of bankruptcy protection.
The decision left more than 110,000 customers stranded overseas and 300,000 future bookings have been canceled. The British government said it was working to secure a fleet of more than 30 aircraft to bring those stranded overseas back home at no extra cost.
“We know that Monarch’s decision to stop trading will be very distressing for all of its customers and employees,” CAA Chief Executive Andrew Haines said. “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 [get people home].”
Haines asked customers to be patient as the government works to bring Monarch customers back to the United Kingdom, adding that the scale and challenge of the operation meant that “some disruption” is inevitable. People are advised to check monarch.caa.co.uk for information about upcoming flights.
The CAA also told customers to continue to enjoy their vacation, explaining that most of the new flights will be either at the same time or later than their original booking with Monarch. Some arrangements have already been put in place for passengers who are due to return home later on Monday.
Monarch Airlines, the UK’s fifth-biggest airline, had until midnight on Sunday to reach a deal with the CAA to extend its license. The airline had faced a number of problems over the past few years, including a fall in revenue on flights to Turkey and Egypt as a result of terror attacks and the slumping pound in the wake of Britain’s vote to leave the European Union.
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