Two of the UK’s largest ski holiday operators, Crystal and Inghams, have managed to switch all of their customers who were booked on ski holidays this winter that had been due to use Monarch flights on to alternative services on the same day that the airline announced it was ceasing operations.
“All Crystal Ski Holidays customers who have Monarch flights as part of their holiday package will be switched onto our Thomson Airways flights. These will operate from the same airports and on the same dates, though there may be some difference in departure and arrival times. We will confirm the exact details with all affected customers this week,” said a company spokesperson shortly after 3pm today.
Earlier in the day the company issued an initial statement,
“We were sorry to learn in the early hours of this morning that the UK tour operator and airline Monarch has been placed into administration. We really feel for everyone affected by this announcement including customers on holiday, anyone due to travel with them and of course also their employees. As we offer a small number of flights with Monarch and for any customers due to travel later this year with Crystal Ski Holidays, please bear with us as we look at other options and alternatives as a priority.”
Inghams confirmed on Tuesday 3 October that it also managed to switch all its passengers on the day of the Monarch announcement,
“During the course of yesterday, 2nd October, Inghams was able to replace all flights for the ski season which had previously been arranged with Monarch. In due course these details will be communicated to guests and travel agents. We will keep our web pages updated with latest information and of course, be in direct contact with guests as soon as we can,” said a company spokesperson.
Monarch is believed to have been selling around 50,000 seats on its flights to some of Europe’s most popular ski destinations this coming Winter 2017/18 including Grenoble, Geneva and Lyon. It had also announced last spring plans to offer increased services to Finnish Lapland this winter.
The picture regarding other tour operators who had planned to offer ski holidays using Monarch Service is not yet clear, and Fiona Macrae of Travel Insurance Explained advises anyone who booked via a tour operator, who, in turn, booked flights with Monarch, should approach their tour operator for advice.
“Unfortunately, people who booked their flights only, directly through Monarch, will not have the same protection. Most standard travel insurance policies will not cover you if the airline, tour operator or travel agency ceases to trade. So, unless your travel insurance policy specifically states that cover is provided, you will not be able to make a successful claim for this situation.”
Travel Insurance Explained is advising Monarch customers to check their travel insurance policies to see whether they have: a ‘scheduled airline failure’ clause which would provide cover for the costs of the flight if they have not travelled and/or ‘end supplier failure’ which would provide cover for the costs of the flight if they have not travelled and also things like hotels and car hire, which have been paid for and can no longer be used.
Fiona Macrae, adds, “We would urge anyone buying a travel insurance policy to look for one that provides the above cover. These policies may be slightly more expensive than standard ones, but would be a couple of pounds well spent if you are affected by this situation.”
Monarch customers are also reminded that they may be able to claim their money back if they paid by credit card.
Blair Nimmo, Jim Tucker and Mike Pink from KPMG, who were today appointed the joint administrators of Monarch Airlines Limited and Monarch Travel Group, have confirmed that 1,858 employees have been made redundant. More than 200 staff have been kept on for the present to help with the repatriation of Brits booked on Monarch flights abroad.
“Regrettably, with the business no longer able to fly, a significant number of redundancies were made. 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,” said Mr Nimmo.