POPULAR LOW-COST airline Monarch has ceased trading with immediate effect.
The British charter and scheduled airline based at Luton operated scheduled flights to destinations in the Mediterranean, Canary Islands, Cyprus, Egypt, Greece and Turkey.
The move means all flights and holidays have been cancelled and will not be rescheduled.
The British Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) says it has launched a programme to bring 110,000 Monarch customers back to the UK in response to the airline being placed into administration, leaving 300,000 bookings cancelled.
Some 110,000 Monarch customers are currently abroad and bringing them all back to the UK will be the country’s biggest peacetime repatriation operation.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: ” I have immediately ordered the country’s biggest ever peacetime repatriation to fly about 110,000 passengers who could otherwise have been left stranded abroad.
“This is an unprecedented response to an unprecedented situation.
“Nobody should underestimate the size of the challenge, so I ask passengers to be patient and act on the advice given by the CAA.”
The CAA will charter more than 30 planes to bring those whose flights have been cancelled home within the next fortnight, after the airline failed to renew a crucial licence.
Monarch is one of the oldest UK airlines to have not changed its original name before it ceased operations. It had around 3,000 employees as of 1 October 2017.