Monarch Airline
Monarch employees voted almost unanimously in favour of pay cutsReuters

In a brave rescue attempt Monarch staffers have agreed to take a 30% pay cut to keep their struggling airline flying – a corporate drama of this sort recalls the plan to save BlueStar Airlines from the jaws of Gordon Gekko in Oliver Stone's Wall Street.

But in this case the private equity firm seizing control of the company appears to be working in concert with Monarch and its determined employees to save the company. In that case the avaricious baddies must be the Swiss-Italian billionaire Mantegazza family that owns Monarch, but is now being forced to cede control of it.

Like most family offices the Mantegazzas prefer to keep a low profile.

Back in July the Telegraph learnt that the family was in talks to pump £60m (€77m, $98m) - the third cash injection in five years - into the business, as tough trading climate and the battle for the airways continued to take its toll.

The family's patriarch Sergio Mantegazza had overseen a previous injection of £75m into the business in 2011, and two years before that £45m. Apparently some of the equity injection was linked to Monarch's £1.75bn order for 30 new Boeing 737 Max 8 airliners.

Forbes rated Sergio Mantegazza 317 in its list of the world's wealthiest people, with a net worth of $2.4bn. He also owns a significant stake in his family's collection of residential and commercial Lugano real estate and a substantial portfolio of low-risk bonds.

The octogenarian president has been in charge for over 50 years. He loves expensive toys and owns a helicopter, a $600,000 Mercedes Maybach and the 'Lady Marina' yacht, on which he is reputed to have entertained high profile guests like Tina Turner.

He has built a $3bn tour and travel empire from Globus, the company his father Antonio founded in 1928 with a single gondola that started out ferrying tourists around Lake Lugano.

From his humble beginnings Antonio Mantegazza acquired a fleet of 12 coaches to transport tourists around the Lake Lugano area in southern Switzerland. He called his new venture Globus Viaggi.

By 1950 the company operated 33 coaches with overnight excursions to Rome, Venice and the French Riviera. Later Globus pioneered the concept of Grand European Touring by offering first-class European tours to well-heeled Americans. In 1961, the group launched iconic Cosmos Holidays in the UK, providing budget European holidays.

Sergio took over as president of Globus in 1975 and began offering packages to Africa, Australia and South America. Also in the early 70s, Globus launched its North American company Group Voyagers, overseeing US tour operations and the American market for the Globus and Cosmos brands.

One of the sons, Paolo Mantegazza, who had worked for Bankers Trust in London and Credit Suisse for spell, took over the running of the US Group Voyagers business. Tragically, he took his own life in 2004, aged 34.

The other son, Fabio, is the chief executive of the Monarch.

He drafted in veteran Andrew Swaffield to run the airline in April of this year. However, with the third cash call the family enlisted Dean Street Advisers, a corporate finance firm, to try to find a private equity investor.

The plan, if it comes off, is to restructure the airline so it can better compete with budget rivals like easyJet and Ryanair.