File photo dated 02/10/17 of Monarch plane at Luton Airport, as more than 80,000 Monarch holidaymakers have been repatriated to the UK as part of an operation expected to cost around £60million. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Monday October 16, 2017. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) put on 567 flights which brought back 83,875 passengers to the UK after the travel company went into administration. See PA story TRANSPORT Monarch. Photo credit should read: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

Monarch should contribute to cost of customer airlift, says Grayling

The private equity owner of failed airline Monarch should contribute towards the cost of repatriating its customers, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has said.

Mr Grayling said "I completely agree" with calls for Greybull Capital to pay some of the £60 million bill for the two-week operation.

It has been reported that Monarch had £48 million cash in the bank at the time of its collapse, which Greybull could claim as the firm's first in line secured creditor.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) put on 567 flights which brought almost 84,000 passengers back to the UK after the travel company went into administration on October 2.

The Government previously said it hopes to recoup some of the cost from credit cards companies and tour operators whose customers were booked on Monarch flights.

But Mr Grayling told the Commons Transport Select Committee that Greybull should also pay if it profits from the firm going into administration.

"I would hope that if any of the creditors end up with money in pocket that they might indeed consider doing that and I would certainly not hesitate to say so to them," he said.

"I would hope in a world where social responsibility is important to corporate reputation, that those involved - if indeed they recover monies in the way that has been suggested - might feel a moral obligation to contribute.

"I'm sure we will always look to try and encourage social responsibility."

As Monarch’s main secured creditor, Greybull has first call on any cash realised from asset sales by administrator KPMG, which is expected to recoup millions from selling the airline’s landing slots.

Greybull is run by brothers Marc and Nathaniel Meyohas and Richard Perlhagen.

The last of the repatriation flights – a service from Tel Aviv in Israel with 122 passengers – landed at Luton Airport at just after 3.30am on Monday.

The CAA said it is contacting all 1,000 Atol protected passengers still abroad “to arrange alternative flights to get them home when their trip has ended”.

Andrew Haines, CAA chief executive, said: “This has been a phenomenal challenge and one that has required the co-operation and support of many businesses, government departments and individuals.

“It was a very sad day when Monarch went into administration and our thoughts remain with all the Monarch employees who have lost their jobs.”

He added 98% of passengers arrived home on the day they were scheduled to return.

A spokesman for Greybull said: “We remain deeply sorry and saddened by the failure of Monarch despite the best efforts of so many to turn around the company, and the significant capital provided by Greybull to rescue Monarch from bankruptcy in 2014. Turnarounds are not always successful, they are high risk.

“We agree with the Secretary of State that it is too early in the administration process for anyone to know the outcome for creditors.

“We have acted responsibly and with integrity throughout the process and will continue to do so. We are working closely and actively with the administrators KPMG, and other key stakeholders including the Department for Transport.”


Steve Parsons/PA Wire

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