Belfast Telegraph

Airlines eye Monarch’s short-haul operation, according to reports

The two companies are said to be among a number of airlines putting forward proposals.

EasyJet and Wizz Air have made approaches to Monarch Airlines over its short-haul business, according to reports.

The two companies are said to be among a number of airlines putting forward proposals to either partner with Monarch’s short-haul business, or buy the operation outright, Sky News said, citing sources.

It comes after sources told the Press Association on Friday that Norwegian Air Shuttle had contacted Monarch over a deal to buy all, or part, of the company.

Monarch, which is owned by private equity firm Greybull Capital, is understood to have hired KPMG to investigate options for overhauling, or selling, its short-haul business with an eye to focusing on more lucrative long-haul routes.

The Luton-based firm secured a £165 million cash injection from Greybull in October last year, which allowed the low-cost carrier to renew its operating licence with the Civil Aviation Authority.

Monarch employs around 2,750 staff and flies to more than 40 destinations.

In a statement, Monarch said: “In recent months we have undertaken, and continue to undertake, a comprehensive review of Monarch, designed to determine its optimal future shape, size and strategy.

“We are having regular discussions on a number of options with potential strategic partners and we will announce any material developments, if and when they happen.”

The British airline industry is currently grappling with a sustained bout of turbulence driven by sterling’s slump and falling passenger numbers in the wake of a string of terror attacks.

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