Monarch axes Granada-Gatwick route

Monarch Airlines is in the doghouse for axing its popular Granada-London Gatwick route.
A group of more than 630 angry passengers has teamed together to petition Monarch to save the Granada to Gatwick flights.
Monarch proffers the explanation that “demand has not met expectations” for ending the route.
But Jo Chipchase, who has taken up the mantle on behalf of the aggrieved passengers, believes the flights can’t have just suffered from low passenger demand.
Granada2.jpg“Monarch reports an average load factor for scheduled flights of 83.2% – a figure published on 2 November,” she says.
“On behalf of the 630+ signees who have made their feelings known, we seek truthful answers from Monarch as to why it terminated the Granada-Gatwick route at a time when tourism and skiing in Granada are both growing. We wish to have the loyal custom conveyed upon Monarch during the last few years acknowledged with a response.”
More interesting though is speculation on the Save Our Granada to Gatwick Flights website as to the “real” reason Monarch pulled the route:
Various theories exist – including:
* that the Lisbon route, which used the same plane as LGW-GRX, was uncompetitive and hence both routes were pulled;
* the level of on-board sales was too low and Monarch would need to charge a higher fare to make up for this shortfall;
* that Monarch sought Granada city funding to subsidise the route, and it was not forthcoming.
Says Chipchase: “If, as we believe, the route was commercially viable and the reason given for its withdrawal was not the real one, perhaps this much-needed flight could be resumed with another carrier. However, official statements claiming low passenger demand do nothing to encourage its possible restoration, which would help the thousands of people (62,000 in 2006, according to Monarch’s official passenger figures) who relied on easy access between Granada and Gatwick.”

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