Monarch Airlines has dismissed “negative speculation” concerning its financial health. In a statement issued on September 26, the Luton-based carrier said its flights were “operating as normal.” The airline added it was “trading well” and is expecting to make more than £40m in underlying earnings by the end of its financial year in October.
Monarch’s comments came a day after its social media channels were bombarded with claims the carrier had run into financial difficulties. The speculation was fuelled in part by a series of charter flights positioned into various airports in Europe, believed to have been organised by the UK CAA and apparently in preparation for a repatriation airlift. At the time of writing, several of these aircraft remained in situ, though no official explanation has been forthcoming from either Monarch or the CAA.
Though the carrier was bullish in its response, it did acknowledge the wider leisure sector was enduring a “difficult period”, citing “terrorist incidents, Brexit and the resulting devaluation of the sterling.” It added: “To weather tougher market conditions and to fund its ongoing growth, Monarch expects to announce a significant investment from its stakeholders in the coming days.”
In June, parent Monarch Holdings confirmed it was seeking to secure £35m in short-term financing, despite the airline posting a £19.2m pre-tax profit for the 12 months up to October 2015. This marked an impressive reversal over the £57.3m loss a year earlier and followed a significant restructuring programme launched by investment firm Greybull Capital, which rescued the carrier from the brink of collapse in October 2014.