Britain’s fifth biggest airline Monarch has ceased trading with 300,000 bookings cancelled.

Monarch Airlines

Aircraft flying over the clouds.

It was confirmed at 4am today that the Luton-based airline, which employs about 2,100 people, has been placed into administration.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has described the situation as “unprecedented” and said that there were up to 110,000 Monarch customers currently overseas.

Monarch had reported a loss of £291m for the year to October 2016 and had been in last-ditch talks with the CAA about renewing its licence to sell package holidays. But it had until midnight on Sunday to reach a deal and failed to do so.

Passengers have been advised that the CAA will arrange flights back to the UK for the Monarch customers overseas at no extra cost.

Dame Deidre Hutton, chairwoman of the authority, said it was a “huge undertaking” and urged passengers to be patient.

The following advice has been issued by the CAA:

Customers already abroad

  •  If you are due to return to the UK on or before 15th October 2017 arrangements will be made for you to return home to the UK on a new flight, at the end of your holiday. These new flights will be at no extra cost to you.
  •  The CAA will prioritise vulnerable passengers, including unaccompanied minors, and make sure that family groups travel on the same flights. 
  •  For further advice and details of your new flight visit the following section online: I am currently abroard
  •  If you are currently abroad and due to return to the UK after this date, read the additional information section. 

Customers yet to travel out of the UK

  •  All future holidays and flights booked with Monarch are cancelled as of 2nd October 2017.
  • If you are booked on a Monarch Airlines flight, do not go to your UK airport, as your flight will not be operating.

Further information is available at I have a future booking and have not travelled yet.

ABTA Advice

ABTA has said the vast majority of holidaymakers’ arrangements will be covered through different types of financial protection including credit and some debit card schemes, and they will either be entitled to a refund, or if they’ve booked through another travel company, they should contact them to discuss options which may include re-booking or alternative arrangements.  

ABTA has developed specific guidance for customers in relation to each individual company, including how to progress a claim where applicable, which is available at

Its chief executive Mark Tanzer said: “This will be an anxious and distressing time for Monarch staff, customers and industry colleagues.  As the Government undertakes its programme of repatriating passengers who are overseas, ABTA will assist in whatever way we can.”