History

Our leading travel brands have a long and rich heritage and have successfully adapted to a continuously-changing industry.

The Group, as its exists today, came together in 1968 when Monarch Airlines was formed under the same ownership as Cosmos Holidays and Monarch Aircraft Engineering, following their establishment in 1961 and 1967 respectively.


Monarch Airlines

Monarch Airlines was created to respond to the expanding charter holiday industry and demand for faster travel. In its early days Monarch operated with just two aircraft, but in the early 1970s the Airline began to meet the requirements of an evolving travel market by committing to an all-jet fleet and by 1972 was carrying 500,000 passengers per annum.

The advent of mass market independent travel saw Monarch launch its scheduled division with increased routes in 1985. The Airbus A330 was added to the fleet in 1999 featuring new Premium cabin and a range of upgraded passenger benefits, followed in 2001 by the launch of Monarch’s first online booking tool. By 2007 online reservations had grown to over 90% of total bookings.

Monarch Airlines is now one of the leading scheduled carriers at its key bases at London Gatwick, across the Midlands and the north of England. Its current 30 aircraft fleet provides an annual capacity of seven million seats from six UK bases to destinations around the Mediterranean, the Canaries and to ski destinations in winter. The Airline also offers capacity to tour operators both through its scheduled and operations and traditional charter activities, where it continues with selected long-haul flying.


Cosmos Holidays, Avro and somewhere2stay

Cosmos Holidays is one of the UK’s longest established tour operating brands, having been originally established to capitalise on the growth of mass market packaged holidays to the Spanish Costas. In 1990 it acquired Avro, the UK’s leading charter flight-only operator for travel agents, and in 2000 somewhere2stay was established as a complementary travel brand offering accommodation-only and flexible duration holidays.

This Tour Operations division of the Group is today a profitable and growing independent tour operator, manufacturing a wide choice of holidays for approximately 815,000 return passengers per annum to 60 worldwide destinations, with products ranging from mainstream family holidays to specialist holidays such as villas with pools and Lapland.


Monarch Aircraft Engineering (MAEL)

Since it was established Monarch Aircraft Engineering has provided high-quality aircraft maintenance and engineering services to Monarch Airlines, contributing significantly to the Airline’s efficiency and reliability. This know-how and technological expertise, which includes Boeing GoldCare Partner Approval, underpins the strong and continuing growth of a blue-chip, third-party customer base which includes some of the best-known company names in aviation and which has helped to propel MAEL to the number one ranked Maintenance and Repair Organisation (MRO) in the UK.



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