Published on : Tuesday, October 3, 2017
At Manchester Airlines based in Manchester Airport, there are about 425 staffs working for the airline and tour group, and a further 41 across Stockport and Manchester employed by Monarch Travel Group.
With nine aircraft based at Manchester, the ceasing of the trade of UK’s longest-running airline brand could also have a ripple effect on other jobs at the hub.
KPMG partner Blair Nimmo said Monarch Airlines employs around 2,100 people across its airline and tour group. It had struggled with mounting costs and competitive market conditions which lead to sustained losses.
He said they would do all they could to assist employees in submitting claims to the Redundancy Payments Office.
The understood staff pensions will not be affected as the final salary schemes were scrapped in 2014 when Monarch Airlines was acquired by Greybull Capital. This means pensions were not company-sponsored. However, it will leave thousands of staff jobless in the run-up to Christmas.
The Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said that the Monarch Airlines was a ‘victim of the success’ of other airlines as he addressed the Conservative Party conference in Manchester.
He said that he hoped the staff would get the job soon. Monarch Airlines has been a victim of the success of other airlines, like EasyJet and Jet2.
But the Unite Union, which represents around 1,800 engineers and cabin crew at Monarch Airlines, claimed the ministers had turned down requests from the airline to fund a bridging loan charged at commercial rates, while it restructured the business to focus on long-haul flights which are the major economy generator.
Unite national officer Oliver Richardson said this failure to intervene, as well as Brexit uncertainty deterring other potential buyers, has led to Monarch’s downfall.
He added that the workforce of Monarch Airlines has worked tirelessly and loyally, with great sacrifice, to try and turn the airline around in the last year. Their hard work has been undone by a government seemingly content to sit on its hands and allow one of the UK’s oldest airlines go into administration. The British Airline Pilots Association, representing the 419 Monarch pilots affected, has been in talks with airlines asking them to open recruitment or bring it forward.
They include Virgin Atlantic, Flybe and Whizz Air. Both Easyjet and Virgin Atlantic confirmed on Monday they had set up ‘fast track paths’ to support Monarch pilots into recruitment with them.
Brian Strutton, the British Airline Pilots Association General Secretary, said that the thoughts of all UK airline pilots are with their friends and colleagues in Monarch Airlines.
This is an extremely difficult situation for everyone involved, but especially for Monarch staff members who, in the case of many pilots, have spent their whole careers working for Monarch Airlines and are now to be made superfluous.