Monarch Airlines has managed to get its ATOL licence extended by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). While this extension is just a temporary one, the move comes just hours before Friday midnight, at which time its license was to expire.
In a statement, the British low-cost airline said it had also received significant further investment from its shareholders. It added that the Luton, UK-headquartered company was close to announcing the same, which would mark its largest investment received until-date.
Commenting on the same, Andrew Swaffield, CEO of The Monarch Group said, "I am delighted that we have been able to come to an agreement with the CAA on the extension of Monarch's ATOL licence and am excited about the additional capital coming into the group which will help us fund our future growth. I am immensely proud of the professionalism of the Monarch team."
This follows recent rumours that Monarch Airlines was going bust. Speculation was said to have started over the previous weekend and was brought to light by customers on the company's Twitter feed.
Monarch had, however, immediately denied these rumours. It had then said that it was operating as normal and was also carrying its customers as scheduled.
The CAA in a statement said it had given an extension to Monarch's existing ATOL licences for 12 days. It added that these would expire at 11.59pm on 12 October.
"The CAA was able to do this by requiring the shareholder to provide additional funding and because customers' money will be protected. Monarch now has 12 days to satisfy the CAA that the group is able to meet the requirements for a full ATOL licence. Monarch will remain ATOL licensed until this extension expires.... During this period of extension, the CAA will continue to monitor the company," it added.
The regulator went on to advice consumers to book only ATOL-protected air holidays. This is because an ATOL ensures that consumers do not lose money they paid or get stranded abroad even if their travel company collapses. If an ATOL protected travel company ceases trading, the scheme will protect customers who have booked holidays with the firm.