Monarch Airlines plans major fleet renewal

Monarch Airlines, a charter and scheduled airline operator based in Luton, UK, is planning a major renewal of its fleet of aircraft.

The company is intending to place an order for 60 new aircraft this autumn, with the incoming aircraft replacing some of the existing fleet, while others will allow the company to expand. In the interim, the company will operate 39 aircraft and lease any additional aircraft needed to service short-term expansion. On fulfilment of the order the group will only be operating two aircraft types.

The exact aircraft to be ordered are still under consideration, with a choice between those manufactured by Boeing, AirBus and Bombardier. Whichever manufacturer is chosen, Monarch will be hoping to take its first deliveries from 2015. This requirement could preclude the company from ordering the very latest technology, as those aircraft are unlikely to be available before 2018 to 2019. Deliveries on the order would likely continue until 2024.

Robert Palmer, the company’s group finance director, said, ‘We have a choice of existing and new technology [aircraft] which have significant advantages on operating costs. Our natural preference is for new technology. There is always a risk with old technology that it will become obsolete faster. But most of the new technology aircraft will not be available until 2018-19. We are also looking carefully at pricing. If everyone wants new aircraft, it presents an economic opportunity.’

The company is also intending to place an order for new long-haul aircraft during 2014.

Monarch Airlines commenced business in 1968 and now operates out of six UK airports.