Troubled Monarch airline given 24-hour extension to sell holidays in UK

BUDGET British airline Monarch has been handed a 24-hour emergency extension to its license to sell package holidays.

The troubled Luton-based carrier’s Air Travel Organiser’s Licence (Atol), allowing it to sell flights and holidays in the UK, was due to expire at midnight on Saturday September 30.

But after last-ditch talks the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said in a statement: “We can confirm that Atol protection will remain available for eligible holiday bookings made with Monarch on Sunday.”

“The Atol renewal process is ongoing and the CAA will conclude the processing of applications from approximately 1,300 Atol holders in the next 24 hours. In certain circumstances this could require a temporary extension to complete this process.

“In line with our usual practice, we will not comment on the specifics of any Atol holder’s application until such time as the process has reached a resolution. However, we can confirm that Atol protection will remain available for eligible holiday bookings made with Monarch on Sunday.

“The CAA will provide a daily update with regard to the protection that is available to Monarch’s customers.”

It is the second time in two years that Monarch, founded in 1968, has received such a reprieve following a probe into the company’s financial affairs.

The airline flies to over 40 destinations, of which 14 are in Spain and Gibraltar.

The Atol is a legal requirement for travel companies in the UK. It stops holidaymakers from being stranded abroad should the firm they booked with cease trading.

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