Monarch Airlines (ZB, London Luton) has ceased all operations as of Monday, October 2, following its failure to secure a renewed ATOL (Air Travel Organiser's Licence).

According to the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), Monarch Airlines Ltd alongside Monarch Travel Group units Monarch Holidays Ltd, First Aviation Ltd (previously trading as Monarch Airlines), Avro Ltd, and Somewhere2stay Ltd have now all entered into administration. KPMG has since confirmed that Blair Nimmo, Jim Tucker and Mike Pink have been appointed joint administrators of Monarch Airlines Ltd. while, at the same time, Blair Nimmo, Jim Tucker and Steve Absolom have been appointed joint administrators to Monarch Travel Group Ltd.

“Our primary focus for the next 48 hours is to work with the Civil Aviation Authority to provide the infrastructure and information needed to help the Government and CAA with the safe repatriation of approximately all the 110,000 customers who are currently overseas and due to travel back to the UK within the next two weeks," Blair Nimmo said. "This includes all those whose trip is not specifically covered by ATOL protection. The CAA has provided funding to enable the Group to retain a number of employees to assist us with the provision of this information."

As a consequence of entering into administration, Monarch Airlines' Air Operator's Certificate (AOC) has now been suspended by the CAA. At the time it terminated operations, Monarch's fleet consisted of ten A320-200s, twenty-five A321-200s, and one B737-800 all of which were leased from third-party firms and all of which are now grounded pending return to their respective owners.

"We will also be speaking to all of the Group’s employees, and commencing the process of returning the Group’s leased aircraft fleet to its owners," Nimmo added.

Over thirty aircraft have since been chartered from Qatar Airways (operated for Oneworld partner British Airways), Air Transat, Hi Fly, Wamos Air, and Titan Airways to ferry stranded passengers back to the United Kingdom.

Concerns about the future of the 49-year-old carrier have been lingering over the past several weeks following reports its owner, Greybull Capital, had been in talks with parties including Norwegian, easyJet, Wizz Air, and even IAG International Airlines Group over the sale of its shorthaul business and other assets such as airport slots and manpower. Greybull had intended to retain Monarch albeit as a long-haul leisure specialist.

In the meantime, Monarch Aircraft Engineering Limited (MAEL) has announced its continuation as a standalone business, operating as normal.

"Whilst Monarch Airlines was a significant customer for MAEL, its focus is now on servicing its other existing clients and securing new contracts," the firm said. "In the last two weeks, MAEL has won a new significant contract from Virgin Atlantic (VS, London Heathrow). MAEL will carry out C1 checks for Virgin’s B787-9 fleet between 2017 and 2021. All the maintenance work will be carried out at its state of the art facility at Birmingham Int'l Airport."