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Over 30 aircraft needed to handle Monarch backlog

UK regulators are chartering over 30 aircraft to repatriate passengers following the collapse of Monarch Airlines.

The Civil Aviation Authority says the cessation of operations by Monarch is the "largest ever" entry into administration by a UK carrier.

Administrators of the airline have confirmed that 1,760 personnel at the carrier have been made redundant, along with another 98 employed by Monarch Travel Group.

The two companies had some 2,100 staff between them, and the remaining 250 or so will be assisting with the administration process and supporting the CAA's efforts to return the 110,000 customers still abroad.

"Regrettably, with the business no longer able to fly, a significant number of redundancies were made," says KPMG partner Blair Nimmo, who is overseeing the administration.

Around 300,000 future bookings have been cancelled as a result of Monarch's collapse.

"Everyone due to fly in the next [two weeks] will be brought back to the UK at no cost to them," says the CAA. The aircraft drafted to repatriate passengers will operate to over 30 airports, it adds.

Rival carriers are already stepping in to pick up ex-Monarch personnel, with EasyJet recruiting for 500 cabin crew at London Luton and London Gatwick, as well as aircraft captains.

EasyJet, like Monarch, operates Airbus A320-family jets.

While Ryanair has been struggling to overcome a crew shortfall which has forced mass cancellations of flights, the airline exclusively uses Boeing 737-800s – which means any pilots switching to the carrier would need to undergo conversion training.

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