Monarch Airlines (ZB, London Luton) will transition from a charter operator into a scheduled airline with effect from April next year. In an interview with Travel Weekly, CEO Andrew Swaffield said Monarch will cease offering charter flights at the end of the upcoming 2014/15 winter season.

“We’ll say goodbye to charter for good. We’re moving from the last vestiges of a charter airline to scheduled next year,” he said.

Among the first bases to be affected are East Midlands which Monarch will withdraw from by the end of April 2015.

Last week, the carrier confirmed its entire operation was under review with a change in ownership a strong possibility given the need to find GBP60million (USD102.2million) in financing for a planned order with Boeing (BOE, Chicago O'Hare) for thirty B737 MAX 8s. Among potential investors being courted include Better Capital, HIG Europe, Towerbrook and US firm, Indigo LLC.

Monarch intends to reposition itself in the budget market where it will take on the likes of Ryanair (FR, Dublin Int'l) and easyJet (U2, London Luton).

“As holiday habits change, our customers want a greater choice of flight times and destinations – particularly for short breaks. As we evolve from our roots in charter flying to become a scheduled European low-cost carrier we are becoming more focused in the services we offer which we believe will provide customers overall with a more attractive flying schedule in the future,” Swaffield added.

With Monarch Airlines' exit from the charter market, so the Group's Cosmos Holidays subsidiary will take over the operation of scheduled and third-party charter flights.