The scheduled and charter carrier – owner of MRO provider Monarch Aircraft Engineering – was rescued in 2014 by private equity firm Greybull Capital, which radically overhauled its business by scrapping long-haul flights in order to focus on the European market.
Despite returning to profit last year and predicting £40m pre-tax earnings for the current financial year, Monarch’s operating licence was only extended by the CAA over the weekend after Greybull promised extra funding.
“I am delighted that we have been able to come to an agreement with the CAA on the extension of Monarch’s ATOL licence and am excited about the additional capital coming into the group which will help us fund our future growth,” says Monarch CEO Andrew Swaffield.
According to The Daily Telegraph that additional capital – which will be on top of that pledged for the ATOL extension – will amount to hundreds of millions of dollars.
This will be used, reportedly, to fund 45 new 737 aircraft, to be delivered from 2018.
On its takeover by Greybull in 2014, Monarch had already ordered 30 737 MAX 8s to replace its A320 fleet, and taken a further 15 options. Thus any new order is likely to be for those 15 aircraft.
In the last two years the airline has suffered terrorism-related disruption to many of its once key North African holiday markets, and has seen demand hit more recently by a weak sterling following the Brexit referendum.
Had Monarch gone under, then, rightly or wrongly, it would probably have been labelled the first victim of Britain’s decision to leave the EU.