Monarch Airlines collapses, the biggest ever failure of a British airline, stranding tens of thousands of travellers overseas and prompting the country's biggest-ever peacetime repatriation effort. Ciara Lee reports.
Grounded Britain's Monarch Airlines collapses in the biggest ever failure of a UK airline. Falling victim to a price war over flights to the Mediterranean, the UK's fifth biggest airline was forced to cancel 300,000 future bookings. (SOUNDBITE) (English) KPMG UK HEAD OF RESTRUCTURING, BLAIR NIMMO, SAYING: "The decision really was a result of continuing losses, losses being sustained for quite some time and forecast to continue mainly as a result of depressed prices in the market overcapacity in the short haul market has meant prices have been depressed for some time. Monarch's priority for now is the tens of thousands of travellers stranded overseas. The repatriation effort is set to be the country's biggest-ever during peacetime. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MONARCH AIRLINE PASSENGER, SAYING: "Everything seemed fine, everyone started queuing us up in the things. Then at four o'clock they gave us a leaflet saying that our flights with Monarch had been cancelled." Tough competition has been pressuring European airlines and driving consolidation. Air Berlin and Alitalia both filed for insolvency this year and seeking new investors for parts of their businesses. (SOUNDBITE) (English) SENIOR MARKET ANALYST AT ETX CAPITAL, NEIL WILSON, SAYING: "All these pressures that have hit the industry mean the weaker operators have been sort of found out. I wouldn't be surprised if we would see more consolidation in the industry as more might struggle." The collapse will also be a headache for some of the world's largest leasing companies, which financed Monarch's current fleet of 36 mainly Airbus jets. Boeing will also feel the pain - it sold the airline 32 of its 737 MAX aircraft. None of which have been delivered.