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Monarch Airlines to pull out of East Midlands as restructuring continues

Monarch Airlines to pull out of East Midlands as restructuring continues

Monarch Airlines will cease flying from its base at East Midlands Airport by the end of April 2015.

The decision to close the base is part of a strategic review under the leadership of Andrew Swaffield, who was recently appointed chief executive of Monarch Group.

The airline will also cut 1,000 jobs as it restructures, effecting around a third of its present workforce.

Through a review of its network strategy, the Airline is focussing on offering customers greater flight frequency and more sociable departure times to short-haul European destinations from its main UK bases.

These changes are already reflected in Monarch’s summer 2015 schedule, much of which is already on sale.

It will drop its charter flights to focus on short-haul scheduled flying and its fleet will shrink from 42 to 30 aircraft.

The change is part of the next phase in Monarch’s transformation to become a scheduled European low-cost carrier.

Monarch aims to complete the transition in advance of the arrival of its new narrow-bodied aircraft fleet of thirty Boeing 737 MAX8s, announced last month, which are expected to start entering service in 2018.

Andrew Swaffield, chief executive, Monarch Group, commented: “I would like to thank all our customers who have used Monarch’s services at East Midlands Airport in the two years that we have been there.

“I would also like to pay tribute to our employees for all that they have done to bring the warmth, humanity and personal touch that should be our hallmark to our services at East Midlands Airport.”

“Monarch’s success in the future depends upon us delivering the best possible operation and quality of service for our customers – and at sustainable levels of profitability.

“It is for these reasons that we are taking important decisions to reshape our base network and flying schedule next year.

“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 focussed in the services we offer which we believe will provide customers overall with a more attractive flying schedule in the future.”

Last month, Monarch Airlines announced a fleet order of 30 aircraft at the Farnborough air show.

Its Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, worth $3.1bn at list prices, are due to enter service from 2018.