‘Lucky’ Monarch predicts profits after oil slump

'Lucky' Monarch predicts profits after oil slumpMonarch is due to reveal on January 29 how it has fared in its first 100 days since new owners, investment firm Greybull, rescued it from collapse.

The airline has met November and December’s passenger and revenue targets and is on track to be profitable this year, according to Monarch Group chief executive Andrew Swaffield.

The collapsing oil price means that Monarch, which unwound its fuel hedge positions when it agreed its rescue deal, now has the lowest fuel costs of all its European peers.

“We definitely got lucky,” Swaffield told the Sunday Telegraph.

Greybull committed £125 million to the company for a 90% stake but required around £70m from previous owners, the Mantegazza family, to secure the takeover in October.

Support from the Mantegazzas and interest from potential new investors was contingent on a major restructuring being implemented, which required support from employees, the pension regulator and the Civil Aviation Authority, which agreed to push back a deadline for its licence renewal.

Ninety per cent of staff voted in favour of pay cuts and redundancies, paving the way for the company’s transformation.

Greybull partner Marc Meyohas said he considers the deal a “long-term investment” as the airline refashions itself from a chartered airlines business to a low-cost carrier.

Despite the cutbacks, Monarch has not become quite as lean as some of its bigger low-cost rivals as Swaffield wants to retain Monarch’s “warmth and friendliness” at the heart of its operations, the newspaper reported.

Sourced from Travel Weekly

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