So Monarch airlines came to it’s conclusion in the early hours of this morning.
With all the public commotion currently surrounding Ryanair and their inability to schedule their staff holidays, Monarch was allowed to deteriorate in the background, out of the eye of public scrutiny.
Even until the very last moments, they still continued to trade. Hiking their prices to deter potential sales, but nonetheless, the flights still remained available on site until the last minute. Like Connor McGregor against the ropes as Floyd Mayweather came on strong, it was over long before the CAA stepped in and called it a day.
Unlike Ryanair, this is not a case of being diverted, or waiting to be told what’s going to happen next. This is end game. Monarch is no more.
The CAA have stepped up their efforts to ensure all Brits are returned home, on what is being called the biggest ever peacetime repatriation, with over 110,000 stuck abroad.
— Monarch (@Monarch) October 2, 2017
Of course, where that is all well and good for residents of the UK, us here in Gibraltar have been dealt the short straw of the deal, as we will technically be considered abroad. If you have an upcoming flight to the UK, then you may be able to use it to go outbound before the 16th October, but you will not be able to return as part of that flight.
The below statement was released this morning:
To clarify, while #Monarch customers booked on flights to UK within next 2 weeks will be able to travel on chartered replacement aircraft for the outbound portion of their tickets, HMGoG strongly advises all other Monarch customers to re-book with other airlines. pic.twitter.com/MMWxOZFBXV
— HM Govt of Gibraltar (@GibraltarGov) October 2, 2017
As Monarch were currently providing flights to Manchester, Birmingham (although scheduled to cease for the winter), London Luton, and London Gatwick, this will have a huge knock on affect for those looking to travel from Gibraltar.
I had a return flight booked only last week for me and my son, who is still considered an infant, so would only pay a surcharge, and the flight which cost me less than £150 would now cost me close to £250, and that would be without my son.
The competition kept the prices reasonable, but with Christmas coming up you can guarantee that Easyjet, and British Airways will hike up prices to take advantage of people who’ve been left in vulnerable positions.
With the Airport still relatively new, the Government will be now left in a situation where decisions will need to be made on how they should move forward.
Will a new airline step in and fill the gap left by Monarch? Or could Easyjet or British Airlines take advantage of the void left and offer new routes, or re-activate popular routes such as Liverpool again.
I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.