• CAA instructs professional handlers to process Monarch ATOL protected refunds
  • 32,000 ATOL package holiday claims expected, ensuring holidaymakers are not out of pocket
  • Total ATOL refunds are estimated to cost around £21 million
  • More than 60% of Monarch customers already back in the UK, on more than 351 flights
  • Week two flight consolidation means some people will fly back a few hours earlier than planned

The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is gearing up for a huge number of claims from Monarch's ATOL protected customers following the collapse of the airline.

As the first week of the CAA's 'flying programme' ends, 404 flights will have operated bringing home almost 80,000 people.  In week two, the CAA will operate a further 300 flights and passengers are being advised to check the website 'monarch.caa.co.uk' to confirm the time of their flights at least 24 hours in advance as some people will need to arrive at the airport earlier than originally planned.

For those people with future bookings, the CAA recognises passengers will want to get their money back as soon as possible.  In order to process an estimated 32,000 claims it has instructed a number of professional handling agencies to ensure all claims are managed effectively and refunds issued speedily. 

All of Monarch's ATOL protected package customers, or their travel agent, will receive by email a claim form from the CAA by Wednesday October 11, 2017. The agencies have access to dozens of dedicated staff, who will start processing claims as soon as they are received next week. 

The CAA expects most legitimate claims, to be processed within 28 days of receipt. If additional information is required this may take a little longer, but the CAA is committed to processing the claims as quickly as possible.

All refunds to Monarch's ATOL-protected customers will be paid by the Air Travel Trust from the ATOL fund that exists to protect customers in the event of a travel company failure.  

Other ATOL protected customers, who booked with a tour operator or travel agent, other than directly with Monarch, should speak to their ATOL holder directly.   These customers may be able to get a refund or be offered an alternative flight or holiday.

Andrew Haines, Chief Executive of the CAA, said:

“We recognise there are many thousands of Monarch customers who will be bitterly disappointed that their holidays have been cancelled.  

“Those who bought a package holiday from Monarch are ATOL protected, which means they have full financial protection and are entitled to a full refund of the cost of their holiday.

“By streamlining our processes and using experienced handlers, we aim to ensure claims are managed effectively and customers receive their refunds as quickly as possible. ”

“Our flying programme is continuing and we are pleased that the clear majority of people, well above 95%, are arriving in the UK within a few hours of their original Monarch flight time.  As we move into week two, the flying programme will present new challenges as we combine passengers from a number of smaller flights onto one larger plane.  This will undoubtedly lead to some people needing to arrive at the airport earlier than planned.  Our advice to passengers is to look at the website - monarch.caa.co.uk - at least 24 hours before your original flight time to confirm what time you will need to get to the airport.”  

Notes to editors 

  • ATOL protected customers should have received an ATOL Certificate when they made their original booking. Travel companies are required by law to provide customers with one of these certificates, which sets out details of their level of ATOL protection.  

Flying Programme Update - Sunday 8 October 

More than 60% of Monarch customers already back in the UK, on more than 350 flights

  • CAA launched flying programme on Monday to bring 110,000 people back to the UK in response to Monarch Airlines administration
  • DAY ONE to FIVE total: 297 flights operated, brought back to the UK 56,367 customers
  • DAY SIX: 54 flights operated, brought back to the UK 11,191 more customers
  • DAY SEVEN: 53 flights planned, bringing back to the UK more than 11,525 customers
  • Over 60% of passengers have now been brought home
  • Flying programme continues until Sunday 15 October  

The Civil Aviation Authority's flying programme completed 54 flights in its sixth day of operation on Saturday, returning 11,155 people to the UK. Over 60% of the 110,000 Monarch customers overseas at the time the airline entered administration are now back in the UK. 

With eight days remaining and approximately 40,000 passengers still to bring back to the UK, the CAA is working around the clock, in conjunction with the Government, to deliver the replacement flying programme following the administration of Monarch Airlines. 

On Sunday 8 October, day seven of the flying programme, the CAA plans to operate 53 flights, bringing over 11,525 people back to the UK. 

Flying Programme Analysis 

Statistics Day six - Saturday 7 Oct To date
Flights completed 54 351
Passengers back in the UK 11,155 67,558
Number of aircraft in fleet 35 35
Number of calls to the call centre 1,055 37,726
Unique visitors to monarch.caa.co.uk 56,482 1,086,054
Page views on monarch.caa.co.uk 340,013 6,702,961
Number of international airports flown to/from 25 25