Monarch mulls short-haul restructuring and take-off for long-haul ambitions

Rebecca Smith
Likely candidates to enter a joint venture with Monarch could include EasyJet or Jet2
Likely candidates to enter a joint venture with Monarch could include EasyJet or Jet2 (Source: Monarch)

Budget airline Monarch is contemplating restructuring its short-haul business, with a view to focusing instead on long-haul flights.

According to Sky News, the airline is working with KPMG on options for the sale or restructuring of its short-haul operations through a joint venture or feeder deal with another airline.

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A Monarch spokesperson confirmed "a comprehensive review" of the airline had gotten underway in recent months, "designed to determine its optimal future shape, size and strategy".

They said: "We are having regular discussions on a number of options with potential strategic partners and we will announce any material developments, if and when they happen."

It comes as the Civil Aviation Authority considers the annual extension of Monarch's Air Travel Organiser's Licence (ATOL). This year it relates specifically to Monarch Holidays, which represents around five per cent of Monarch's business.

In October last year, Monarch received a £165m cash injection from majority shareholder private equity fund Greybull Capital, allowing the airline to renew its licence from the CAA for the next year.

Luton-based Monarch announced in June that it had ordered an extra 15 Boeing 737 Max 8s, as it plans to have a completely modern fleet by 2022.

The 15 737s are valued at $1.7bn (£1.3bn) at current list prices and will grow Monarch's fleet from 30 to 45 airplanes, with the first delivery in 2018.

Chief executive Andrew Swaffield said at the time that the deal was "a clear illustration of confidence in Monarch's future success".

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