Monarch makes Sharm El-Sheikh a scheduled service

  • Monarch, the British leisure airline, launched two new scheduled routes to Sharm El-Sheikh (SSH) in Egypt, from London Gatwick (LGW) and Manchester (MAN). From London, there will be three flights per week, from Manchester four. Both routes were previously operated by the airline as charter services. Competition on both routes is provided by easyJet, Thomas Cook Airlines and Thomson Airways. The airline recently announced that it intends to operate around 80% of its capacity next summer on scheduled services. This shift from charter to scheduled has been on-going for several years. UK CAA data for July 2010 and July 2011 shows that the share of passengers travelling on charter services fell from 39% to 23%. Total passenger numbers are down just under 1% to 740,000 in July. Last week, the airline announced 14 new routes starting next summer, nine of which are to Italy, three to Croatia (Dubrovnik) and two to Greece (Athens). Two additional A320s will be added to the fleet to facilitate this growth. Commenting on the expansion plans, Managing Director of Monarch Airlines, Kevin George said: “The strategy for Monarch Airlines is now firmly focused on its scheduled operations and we are delighted to be adding these new routes to our already extensive network of leisure destinations across Europe. Adding Italy to our network will further reinforce our position as the leading leisure focused airline serving the Mediterranean and the Canaries. The addition of two new aircraft to the fleet is great news, and marks the start of our fleet expansion plans, which will see the fleet grow from 30 to around 40 aircraft in the medium term. In addition to growing our network, we are committed to providing high levels of care and service for our customers and are constantly striving for innovative ways of providing great value benefits for them at year-round low fares. The introduction of our discounted ‘Happy Hour’ cheap flights and our fight against unjust debit and credit card fees are examples of ways in which Monarch Airlines looks after its customers and we are excited about introducing these initiatives across our expanding network.”

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