Administrators of collapsed UK airline Monarch have lost the right to retain the slots owned by the airline.
KPMG had been hopeful that they would be able to sell the slots raising up to £60m towards Monarchs debts but judges at the high court dismissed their claims on the basis that Monarch wasn’t flying, and is unlikely to do so in the future.
The take-off and landing slots in question are for Birmingham, Leeds Bradford, London Luton, London Gatwick and Manchester.
The judges ruled that independent slot coordination company, Airport Coordination Limited (ACL), had no duty to allocate Monarch slots for summer 2018 which means the airline’s slots will be placed into a pool for allocation.
ACL welcomed the decision and in a statement said: “ACL had intended to await the conclusion of the UK Civil Aviation Authority’s proceedings to revoke Monarch’s operating licence, upon which any entitlement Monarch had to slots would have fallen away. However, it has become clear, as confirmed by the Court today, that Monarch has ceased to be an air transport undertaking and has no realistic prospect of resuming operations as such. Accordingly, it is not eligible to hold slots under the Slots Regulation in any event.”
Speaking about the ruling a spokesperson for KPMG said: “We are disappointed with today’s ruling and will be seeking leave to appeal as a matter of urgency.”
Monarch collapsed in October 2017 after failing to secure a second bailout in 12 months from owners Greybull Capital. Greybull has promised to give any profits made in the administration of Monarch to the CAA who had to step in and fly up to 110,000 stranded passengers home.
Question have also been raised about the conduct of CEO Andrew Swaffield (and other members of the Monarch board) in the run-up to the collapse when new companies being created with cash & assets allegedly transferred.