Key Points:

  • Monarch Airlines' relaunch plans have been halted due to a faster-than-expected depletion of start-up funding.

  • The board is exploring other options, including the partial divestment of share capital, to salvage the revival efforts.

  • The setback occurs shortly after the unveiling of new branding and livery, and the appointment of Daniel Ellingham as board chair.

Plans to Revive UK's Monarch Airlines Hit Financial Turbulence

LONDON —Just two weeks after announcing its resurrection, UK leisure carrier Monarch Airlines has been forced to suspend its relaunch. A statement released on 31 August revealed that start-up funding has been exhausted far quicker than the board had foreseen. "At the current stage, there is no practical option to move forward in the immediate future," the statement said.

The sudden halt in the relaunch process has led the business to consider alternative strategies, such as the partial divestment of share capital. The announcement comes on the heels of Monarch Airlines revealing new branding and a revamped livery for its fleet. This new setback has disrupted the carrier's timeline, which initially aimed for operational status by mid-2024 with a fleet of Airbus A320-family jets.

Daniel Ellingham had recently been named as the sole director and de facto board chair for both Monarch Airlines and its sister company, Monarch Holidays. His appointment coincided with the airline’s announcement to return to the skies, and he had laid out plans for achieving operational capability within the next couple of years.

Monarch Airlines, once a stalwart in the UK leisure travel market, faced its downfall in 2017. During its last two years of operation, the carrier had pivoted away from its historical charter market model to focus on scheduled services. The recent developments cast a shadow over the ambitious plans to revive a brand that once had a long history of serving UK leisure markets.