Monarch’s woes have continued on Monday night after it was announced 1,858 employees of the collapsed travel firm have been made redundant.
The UK’s fifth-largest airline has gone into administration and only around 240 people will be kept on temporarily to assist in the winding down process.
Staff were seen packing up boxes and hugging each other at Monarch’s offices in Luton.
Blair Nimmo, partner at KPMG and joint administrator of Monarch, said: “We know that today has been a very sad and difficult day for the Monarch employees. Shortly before the appointment of the Joint Administrators, all employees received an email from the Company confirming that it was about to enter administration.
“Following this, the absolute priority for me and my team was to try and make contact with all members of staff as soon as possible, in order that we could communicate what the administration means for them.
“Over the coming days, my team will be doing all it can to assist the employees in submitting claims to the Redundancy Payments Office for monies owed.”
Monarch’s finances deteriorated in 2016, after security concerns deterred travel to Tunisia, Turkey and Egypt and brought increased capacity for routes to Iberia. The decline in the value of the pound has also compounded its problems.
The airline was bailed out by its owner Greybull Capital a year ago.
“Monarch has really been a victim of a price war in the Mediterranean,” Transport Secretary Chris Grayling told Sky News.
Grayling said he expected many of Monarch’s 2,100 staff to find jobs elsewhere, reports Reuters.
“Monarch’s problem was it was it was neither one thing nor the other. It was not really ... a package holiday airline, nor was it really a low-cost airline. I think it got rather squeezed in the middle,” he added.
The British government has asked the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to charter more than 30 aircraft to bring home about 110,000 Monarch customers overseas, the CAA said.
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said it had launched a programme to bring 110,000 Monarch customers back to the UK in response to the airline’s collapse, which also leaves 300,000 future bookings cancelled.
Grayling called it “an unprecedented response to an unprecedented situation”, and said the move was the “biggest ever peacetime repatriation”.