Monarch has been badly hit by the no-frills operators. Demand for inclusive tours in Spain and the Mediterranean resorts is falling, as people become more confident in booking direct with a LCC and hotels through the internet. This has in turn resulted in the likes of Cosmos, Thomson, Thomas Cook and others cutting back on supply and in turn the demand for charter flights. In order to remain competitive, they are cutting out on services normally taken for granted on an inclusive tour – i.e. the airline meal, resort representatives etc– so that the inclusive tour price can match the same price as if you booked with a no-frill carrier and a hotel direct. It makes economic sense for the charter airlines to pool resources and aircraft from provincial airports, where it would be difficult for a sole operator to fill +140 seats on a weekly basis. On the other hand, demand for charter flights to long-haul destinations is increasing, and this is where Monarch has been concentrating their development. Their recent lease of a 767 to supplement their Airbus fleet proves this.
In the early 90s Monarch developed an impressive network of scheduled flights to the popular Mediterranean destinations, with an impressive in-flight service. These have been put under pressure following the low cost revolution, so that Monarch now uses no-frills style fares and services.
If they had continued with their frills and flights from many provincial airports, there would be the inevitable hit on their revenues and Monarch would have then followed other great names in UK Civil Aviation (e.g. Air Europe, Dan Air) into extinction. I miss all the frills, but people vote with their legs and wallets.
MOL on SRB's latest attack at BA: "It's like a little Chihuahua barking at a dying Labrador. Nobody cares."