MONARCH AIRLINE’S shock decision it was going into administration have affected thousands of UK passengers in Spain.
The British Embassy in Spain has announced it is now helping affected travellers fly home after hundreds of flights have been cancelled. Between five and six Monarch flights were scheduled between the UK and Malaga Airport every day, each carrying around 180 passengers.
Embassy staff are now supervising travellers onto charter planes at Malaga Airport after the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) organised planesto return travellers to Britain.
The British government has described the process of bringing passengers back to the UK as the “largest peacetime repatriation operation,” while Simon Manley, British Ambassador to Spain, said the CAA will charter aircraft until October 15 to fly travellers from Spain to the UK, “regardless of the nationality of the passengers.”
The British Embassy in Spain has recommended those already here “continue to enjoy their travels, since they can return home when they finish without any additional cost.” However, those still in the UK waiting to come to Spain have been urged “not go to the airport, since all flights have been cancelled.”
The British Government is now encouraging all affected passengers to contact Monarch’s administrators KPMG for compensation or use the ATOL (Air Travel Organisers’ Licence) scheme to reclaim their money. Meanwhile the Spanish Air Safety Agency (AESA) has said Spaniards in the UK who have been affected will have to contact Monarch and the CAA for compensation and should tell the Spanish Embassy in the UK about their situation.
Passengers and travel professionals have expressed their shock after the UK’s fifth largest airline went into administration at 4am on Monday morning. The president of the Association of Andalucian Travel Agencies, Sergio Garcia, told one publication, “it caught us by surprise. We did not expect it. Today we have had to relocate customers, some of whom only made their reservations last week.”
One passenger, Dawn Lashley, told a publication she had been given a flight to Manchester but had not been told how to connect to her eventual destination of Birmingham. She told a media outlet, “I’ve been told that they will inform me in Manchester. I am very angry. I have not received any notice until I get here to the airport. Also, I had another ticket with Monarch to return to Malaga in a few days. I come frequently, for work. I was not expecting this from this airline.”
Those affected by Monarch’s announcement can find information on returning to the UK or claiming compensation on the CAA website at caa.co.uk.