British Airways owner snaps up Monarch Gatwick slots

Oliver Gill
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Monarch is the third large European airline to fail this year (Source: Getty)

The owner of British Airways has beaten off the competition to secure Monarch Airline's Gatwick take-off and landing slots.

IAG has snapped up the majority of the slots from the collapsed carrier at Britain's second busiest airport, it was confirmed this evening.

The sale, by Monarch administrator KPMG, follows last week's Court of Appeal ruling that overturned an earlier High Court decision blocking the Big Four accountancy firm from realising value from the slots.

The lucrative slots are Monarch's most valuable asset. Luton and Gatwick slots are believed to be worth in the region of £60m.

KPMG said it was “delighted” to complete the sale. Administrator Blair Nimmo said the sale represented an “excellent recovery for creditors from one of Monarch Airline’s significant assets”. KPMG is now focusing on the Luton slot sale.

IAG said the majority of the slots will be used by British Airways.

Read more: Monarch debts topped £466m when it collapsed

The news will come as a blow to Easyjet, Wizz Air and Norwegian; all of which had expressed an interested in the slots.

At the end of last week, KPMG issued an update on Monarch's administration – the biggest failure of a UK airline. A report revealed suppliers, customers and staff were owed £466m when the carrier collapsed into administration at the start of October.

Because such debts ranked behind those owed to former owners Greybull and the Pension Protection Fund, it was unlikely such unsecured creditors would receive any meaningful return.

Read more: Revealed: How court ruling paves way for bumper Monarch pension payout

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