LONDON — The UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is launching the biggest repatriation effort of Brits abroad since the Second World War after the collapse of Monarch Airlines over the weekend.
Monarch, which flies to the Mediterranean and other hot weather destinations such as Egypt, collapsed into administration on Sunday after over a year of financial difficulty. It is the biggest-ever UK airline collapse.
All future Monarch flights have been cancelled, affecting an estimated 300,000 bookings, and an estimated 110,000 holidaymakers who flew away with Monarch have been left stranded abroad.
The UK government has asked the CAA to coordinate flights back to the UK for those affected due to the “unprecedented” situation. The CAA is chartering 30 aircraft to bring back citizens within the next fortnight from over 30 airports.
Andrew Haines, CEO of the CAA, said in a statement on Monday: “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.”
There will be no extra cost to anyone affected. The CAA is asking all Monarch customers to check the website monarch.caa.co.uk for details. The CAA has also set up a 24-hour helpline — 0300 303 2800 from in the UK and Ireland, and +44 1753 330330 from overseas.