Belfast Telegraph

Path to growth leads Monarch towards 35% profit fall

Profits at Monarch are set to fall by 35% this year as the airline plots a path to growth, months after receiving a £165 million lifeline from its owner.

The airline, which is owned by private equity firm Greybull Capital, said that full-year earnings are expected to fall from £74 million to £48 million in 2016 as it flagged a "particularly challenging year".

However, Monarch said that a surge in summer bookings is helping it bounce back.

Holiday bookings for Summer 2017 are currently up 40% year-on-year at the airline and boss Andrew Swaffield said the group is "well positioned to weather ongoing industry challenges".

He added: "in the face of what is arguably the toughest trading environment ever faced by the industry, Monarch has maintained its profitable performance

"The record investment in the business announced in October, enhanced marketing initiatives including our first TV advertising campaign in three years and continuing cost control means Monarch enters 2017 in a strong position."

In October the firm secured a £165 million cash injection from Greybulll, which allowed Monarch to retain its licence to operate.

Alongside the investment - the biggest in its 48-year history - Monarch will take delivery of the first of 30 Boeing 737 MAX-8 aircraft in 2018.