Published on : Thursday, July 12, 2018
According to the interim report, a typical airline failure could affect nearly 900,000 passengers, compared with half a million today – roughly the number caught up in the Monarch collapse.
There are around 110,000 Monarch passengers were abroad when their airline went bust. The Civil Aviation Authority operation to bring them home cost the government £60m – a cost of £545 per passenger, for a typical flight of two or three hours.
Peter Bucks said that the failure of Air Berlin at roughly the same time, was treated very differently. The German government chose to provide immediate financial support to keep the airline temporarily running through administration.
In the event of a failure, aircraft leasing firms demand the return of their planes, and ground handlers – typically owed hundreds of thousands of pounds – are reluctant to keep providing services.
The Monarch collapse revealed widespread confusion over consumer protection. On any one flight several of the passengers may have unwittingly paid twice or more for the same protection.
Mark Tanzer, chief executive of ABTA, the travel association, said that the association has been highlighting for some time that the lack of any formal protection arrangements for scheduled flights leaves many passengers at risk, and the government and taxpayer with a potential repatriation cost.
According to the review, the levy of around 20p per ticket was imposed by the Danish government after the failure of a relatively small airline, Cimber Sterling. But airlines are strongly opposed to anything which increases the cost of flying.