Belfast Telegraph

'Fragile' Monarch Airlines in line for cash injection from investors

The owner of Monarch Airlines is in talks with several interested parties about a potential takeover of the carrier.

Greybull Capital is understood to be in discussions with Chinese firm HNA Group - the company behind Hainan Airlines - about a potential deal, with others thought to be waiting in the wings.

Monarch was forced to deny "negative speculation" over the weekend that it is in financial trouble, and sources close to the situation confirmed that the airline is in no immediate danger of going bust.

A spokesman for Monarch said: "Over the weekend, there has been negative speculation about Monarch's financial health. Our flights are operating as normal, carrying Monarch passengers as scheduled.

"To weather tougher market conditions and to fund its ongoing growth, Monarch expects to announce a significant investment from its stakeholders in the coming days."

Greybull, which acquired a controlling stake in Monarch in 2014, is thought to be finalising details of a cash injection over the coming days. Part of the money is expected to go towards helping pay for a new fleet of 30 Boeing MAX 8s.

The firm booked a £19.2m pre-tax profit in the 12 months to the end of October 2015 following a £57.3m loss a year earlier, according to accounts filed at Companies House. However, aviation analyst Alex Macheras said that it had been known for some time that the business was "in such a fragile state".

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