what we do - our history

Since 1968, Monarch has been dedicated to providing customers with value, quality and choice.

In the early days, our business had just two aircraft: today, Monarch's fleet features 32 of the world's most modern jet aircraft, and each year we fly over six million people to more than 50 destinations worldwide.

Many of the airlines who were in business back in the 1960s have long since disappeared, but Monarch has always been quick to respond to changes in the market, and believes in finding ways to give customers exactly what they want.

That's why some of the key events in our history reflect the major developments in jet travel itself: whenever technology has advanced we've been eager to bring the benefits to our clientele.

Here are just a few of the 'milestones' in how we've evolved as a business -

  • In the early 1970s, the expanding holiday industry demanded faster travel. Monarch met that demand by committing to a modern, all-jet fleet: an unusual step in those days. We took delivery of our first Boeing jet - the 720B - and the first jet service took place on 13th December 1971. By 1972, we were carrying over 500,000 passengers.
  • Ten years later, we were the first charter airline in the world to order the new Boeing 757 - a highly sophisticated twin-engine jet. We ordered four - and Boeing was prepared to work with us to customise the aircraft in exactly the ways we wanted.
  • By the 1980s, many people wanted to travel independently of package tours. They wanted to book their own flights at flexible and convenient times and organise their own accommodation. Monarch recognised this need and in Spring 1985 we were awarded licenses to Malaga, Menorca and Tenerife - our scheduled division was born.
  • In 1986 the first scheduled flight took off for Menorca from Luton, flying on a Boeing 737-200 aircraft.
  • In 1999, we added the Airbus A330 to the fleet. This features the new Premium cabin, with a range of upgraded benefits such as increased seat pitch and width, and in-arm or seat-back video.
  • Monarch launched its first online booking tool in 2001, allowing passengers to book flights directly with the airline without needing to speak to a call centre or book through a travel agent.
  • 2005 saw us add our first Boeing 767 to the fleet, allowing further expansion of the route network due to the aircraft's extended range operation.
  • Online bookings made via www.flyMonarch.com topped 90% for the first time in March 2007.
  • 2010 saw the airline launch scheduled flights to Turkey; taking advantage of the Eastern Mediterranean's surge in popularity.
  • 2012 saw Monarch launch the first programme of scheduled ski flights, East Midlands airport is also launched as the fifth UK base for the airline.
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