British Airways' parent company IAG has scooped up Monarch Airlines' take-off and landing slots at Gatwick Airport in a major boost for Britain's flagship airline.
IAG did not disclose the financial details of the purchase but it is understood it had paid approximately £50m (€55.9m, $66.5m).
"IAG can confirm that it is in the process of completing the acquisition of Monarch's slot portfolio at Gatwick," the group said on Tuesday (28 November).
"These slots will be used by the group's airlines, primarily British Airways, enabling them to grow their presence at the airport and launch new destinations and add extra frequencies."
Some of the new services are expected to be direct replacements of Monarch's routes while others will allow British Airways to expand its worldwide links.
The development will increase BA's portfolio at Gatwick by 28% and will ramp up the competition between Britain's biggest carrier and Norwegian, which has its UK base at London's second largest airport.
The airline, along with the likes of easyJet, WizzAir and Jet2, was reportedly interested in securing Monarch's slots at Gatwick, the busiest single-runway airport in the world, and Luton.
Monarch ceased operations early last month after failing to secure a temporary extension to its Air Travel Organiser's Licence (Atol) for the third time in four years.
This meant it was no longer able to sell Atol-protected holidays. It then appointed KPMG as administrators. The firm had to win a legal battle to sell the slots, overturning a High Court ruling made earlier this month.
"As well as representing an excellent recovery for creditors from one of Monarch Airline's significant assets, the clarity that this sale will bring is very positive for other stakeholders such as Gatwick Airport and its customers," said Blair Nimmo, partner at KPMG and joint administrator.
"Our continuing focus is now on Monarch's Luton slots, as well as exploring potential rescue opportunities for Monarch and its residual assets including its brand and associated licences."
Some 750,000 future bookings were cancelled as a result of Monarch's collapse. Around 110,000 customers were left stranded overseas and 1,858 of the carrier's employees lost their jobs.