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mrbonfire
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Did Monarch miss a trick?

Thu Jul 20, 2017 3:35 pm

Monarch cancelled its 787 order back in 2010/11 because they said it wasn't the right aircraft for their long-haul strategy.

In hindsight, given the rise of DY (and now TCX and VS out of MAN), could they not have carved out a much-needed niche for themselves? Just seems to me that this once great airline is now competing with FR and U2 on point-to-point services without much of a USP and now have the added headache of converting the Airbus fleet to MAX.

Could they not have developed long haul flying from LGW and MAN with some connecting feed?
 
TC957
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Re: Did Monarch miss a trick?

Thu Jul 20, 2017 3:59 pm

When the 787's were ordered, ZB were still operating mid-and long haul IT charters but during the 787 development delay timeframe new management came in, reviewed their future operation and saw ZB having a change of direction and quit all long-haul and IT contract flying. Hindsight is indeed a wonderful gift and I also can't help thinking like you that they could have indeed got in with some scheduled work now being done by TCX & DY with the 787's.
We will never know and it's too late to enter that market now.
 
TheGeordielad
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Re: Did Monarch miss a trick?

Thu Jul 20, 2017 4:04 pm

It would of only been to mostly leisure destinations like those served by Thomson and connecting feed would be unlikely as at the time these would of been delivered they were mostly charter and still have a few charter ops and if they would have taken delivery of them it would be for LGW&MAN point to point travel only and connecting feed is unlikely.
Anyway I don't think they would of swapped LGW slots for short haul to long haul.
 
anstar
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Re: Did Monarch miss a trick?

Thu Jul 20, 2017 4:33 pm

mrbonfire wrote:
Monarch cancelled its 787 order back in 2010/11 because they said it wasn't the right aircraft for their long-haul strategy.

In hindsight, given the rise of DY (and now TCX and VS out of MAN), could they not have carved out a much-needed niche for themselves? Just seems to me that this once great airline is now competing with FR and U2 on point-to-point services without much of a USP and now have the added headache of converting the Airbus fleet to MAX.

Could they not have developed long haul flying from LGW and MAN with some connecting feed?


I'm not sure we can say DY is that succesful on long haul yet and the VS new MAN routes seem to be loss making... low loads, low lead in fares and they have brought forward the end of season by about 2 months and cancelled the flights that were in late SEP/OCT
 
User001
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Re: Did Monarch miss a trick?

Thu Jul 20, 2017 5:33 pm

But the TCX routes on the other hand are seemingly quite successful.

The SFO/BOS routes on VS, while not stellar performers, are not a complete basket case either. Just need to find the right niche. TCX and VS battling on the same routes probably doesn't help matter though....
 
mrbonfire
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Re: Did Monarch miss a trick?

Sun Jul 23, 2017 9:06 pm

User001 wrote:
But the TCX routes on the other hand are seemingly quite successful.

The SFO/BOS routes on VS, while not stellar performers, are not a complete basket case either. Just need to find the right niche. TCX and VS battling on the same routes probably doesn't help matter though....


It does seem like a bit of a land grab at the moment. I think the TCX product is working well, arguably as good/better as BA.
 
mrbonfire
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Re: Did Monarch miss a trick?

Sun Jul 23, 2017 9:10 pm

TC957 wrote:
We will never know and it's too late to enter that market now.


Indeed. I really fear, however, for ZB as they currently are; I'm not sure what the USP is or if the real rationale behind the current investors is to sell it on if IAG or whoever were tempted to make a bid.
 
Flyingabout
Posts: 44
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Re: Did Monarch miss a trick?

Sun Jul 23, 2017 10:50 pm

mrbonfire wrote:
TC957 wrote:
We will never know and it's too late to enter that market now.


Indeed. I really fear, however, for ZB as they currently are; I'm not sure what the USP is or if the real rationale behind the current investors is to sell it on if IAG or whoever were tempted to make a bid.


I think the current owners would take a cash deal and run if they could. Can't see IAG being interested owing to their lack of investment in the UK regions, and the Boeing fleet choice makes them undesirable. Jet2 or Thomson might poke around but honestly, both those airlines could just replicate what Monarch does and save themselves the hassle of buying out another airline.

Unfortunately Monarch really isn't in a healthy place. It was only last year that they got within hours of shutting down, with the CAA hiring in aircraft for the rescue flights. I fear they're surviving on borrowed time from the 11th hour bail out they eventually received. For the sake of the employees I hope I'm wrong.
 
mrbonfire
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Re: Did Monarch miss a trick?

Mon Jul 24, 2017 10:43 am

Flyingabout wrote:
For the sake of the employees I hope I'm wrong.


I really hope so too, but agree it doesn't look too good.
 
oldannyboy
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Re: Did Monarch miss a trick?

Mon Jul 24, 2017 11:42 am

...yes, hindsight is a marvelous thing.... especially for us armchair CEOs....
But I too think that Monarch could have done far, far better... I know the Mantegazzas were -quite rightly- tired of dumping money into the pit that ZB was, but I am wondering why a powerful turnaround was never accomplished.... They have an amazing, enthusiastic workforce; tremendous know-how, and ultimately sit on one of the UK leading brands - and visually too, their house colours are not only very appealing, but immediately recognizable.
IMHO they could/should have done their homework better, and attempt a better, more fluid transition into a 'leisure scheduled carrier', forgetting the low-LCC end of the market, and try to compete on maybe a smaller number of routes from selected airports, on probably somewhat more interesting/exotic destinations, offering perhaps a two class service of good quality ('Crown Service' anyone?) And this is where mid&long-haul comes really into play...especially into the current scenario where much of the big, juicy growth is happening in the long-haul market -and I agree that it's hard to predict whether the bubble will burst...Still, I would have liked to see ZB branch out boldly to places like Vegas, San Diego, SF, the Caribbean, South Africa, Canada, Indian Ocean, UAE, with multiple weekly frequencies on their A330s, offering a cheap [email protected], a better [email protected], and a selected number of full "leisure-J" up front...I think they could have done well.. Whilst the adage that you "don't grow into profitability" may be true, shrinking also is not necessarily good for your own survival.... Dumping the A330 in my view (*vision*) was a mistake. Also, transitioning to the MAX was an extravagant, unnecessary decision. Let's forget the suggestion that 787s would have been good for them: they just didn't need those. If anything they should have stayed an all-Airbus airline, maybe perhaps adding the 321LR if anything...but I digress...
 
mrbonfire
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Posts: 78
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Re: Did Monarch miss a trick?

Mon Jul 24, 2017 12:02 pm

oldannyboy wrote:
but I am wondering why a powerful turnaround was never accomplished....


I always wondered too. Very interesting...

oldannyboy wrote:
They have an amazing, enthusiastic workforce; tremendous know-how, and ultimately sit on one of the UK leading brands - and visually too, their house colours are not only very appealing, but immediately recognizable.


:checkmark:

oldannyboy wrote:
('Crown Service' anyone?)

Ha, ha. Yeh. Great days, but think this would be too 'elitist' nowadays...


oldannyboy wrote:
offering a cheap [email protected], a better [email protected], and a selected number of full "leisure-J" up front...I think they could have done well..


Yup. I think a 9 abreast Transat-style service with ZB brand/appeal would have worked well. Monarch brand but with good CASK control.

oldannyboy wrote:
Whilst the adage that you "don't grow into profitability" may be true, shrinking also is not necessarily good for your own survival.... Dumping the A330 in my view (*vision*) was a mistake. Also, transitioning to the MAX was an extravagant, unnecessary decision. Let's forget the suggestion that 787s would have been good for them: they just didn't need those. If anything they should have stayed an all-Airbus airline, maybe perhaps adding the 321LR if anything...but I digress...


Good point. Do you know if they would have lost the deposits on the 787s if they hadn't taken them. MAX makes no sense for them. Especially as A321LR opens up many possibilities for them.
 
oldannyboy
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Re: Did Monarch miss a trick?

Mon Jul 24, 2017 1:26 pm

mrbonfire wrote:
oldannyboy wrote:
but I am wondering why a powerful turnaround was never accomplished....


I always wondered too. Very interesting...

oldannyboy wrote:
They have an amazing, enthusiastic workforce; tremendous know-how, and ultimately sit on one of the UK leading brands - and visually too, their house colours are not only very appealing, but immediately recognizable.


:checkmark:

oldannyboy wrote:
('Crown Service' anyone?)

Ha, ha. Yeh. Great days, but think this would be too 'elitist' nowadays...


oldannyboy wrote:
offering a cheap [email protected], a better [email protected], and a selected number of full "leisure-J" up front...I think they could have done well..


Yup. I think a 9 abreast Transat-style service with ZB brand/appeal would have worked well. Monarch brand but with good CASK control.

oldannyboy wrote:
Whilst the adage that you "don't grow into profitability" may be true, shrinking also is not necessarily good for your own survival.... Dumping the A330 in my view (*vision*) was a mistake. Also, transitioning to the MAX was an extravagant, unnecessary decision. Let's forget the suggestion that 787s would have been good for them: they just didn't need those. If anything they should have stayed an all-Airbus airline, maybe perhaps adding the 321LR if anything...but I digress...


Good point. Do you know if they would have lost the deposits on the 787s if they hadn't taken them. MAX makes no sense for them. Especially as A321LR opens up many possibilities for them.


Yep. We're riding the same wave length on this mate... Do you not think you and I might know a thing or three that *might* have escaped some overpaid manager @ Luton?! ;-) They could've hired us for a free consultancy!
Not sure about deposits on the 787s but I think that was always a questionable/extravagant/unnecessary order - they had perfectly good A332s. Same goes for MAX. And now the "what if" question mark of the 321LR..
 
mrbonfire
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Re: Did Monarch miss a trick?

Mon Jul 24, 2017 2:14 pm

Nice one. :) Yes, it's a shame for the Monarch staff who have had to put up with all this.

The Mantegazzas pulled out when, so I hear, their lease-back arrangement became unsustainable; Greybull Capital then stepped in. I'm not sure what the plan is really: run it as a proper airline or spin it off to someone who wants the slots and MAX aircraft.
 
steady eddie
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Re: Did Monarch miss a trick?

Mon Jul 24, 2017 2:36 pm

2005-2015 was a bleak decade for Monarch. Too many management journeymen came and went, some with fingers in pies and some who were clueless, but the whole operation was limited by the massive deficit which had been allowed to build up in the company pension scheme, to the point where it was over GBP700 million short, and the shareholders were asked to put in tens of millions of pounds a year to try and prop it up. The Airline time and again had its reputation saved by the hardworking loyal staff. Only since the arrival of the current senior management has the airline managed to regain some of its focus, but it has been left with the MAX order, which despite the brave faces they really should have backed out of. One size does not fit all with Monarch's business. A fleet update with a mix of Airbus NEO's would have been preferable in so many ways. The 787 could have worked as an A330 replacement, but the management of the time did not have the foresight.

You only have to look at the emergence of Jet2 in their core market over this period to see exactly what they could have achieved in this time if they had been well run, I don't see how they could ever have been a direct competitor of Norwegian as they just don't have the scale, but as a niche, well respected, UK originating tour operator driven airline they could have continued to succeed.

Its a terrible shame because the employees really are a class above, but they have been horrendously let down by incompetent leadership.
 
oldannyboy
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Re: Did Monarch miss a trick?

Mon Jul 24, 2017 4:13 pm

steady eddie wrote:
2005-2015 was a bleak decade for Monarch. Too many management journeymen came and went, some with fingers in pies and some who were clueless, but the whole operation was limited by the massive deficit which had been allowed to build up in the company pension scheme, to the point where it was over GBP700 million short, and the shareholders were asked to put in tens of millions of pounds a year to try and prop it up. The Airline time and again had its reputation saved by the hardworking loyal staff. Only since the arrival of the current senior management has the airline managed to regain some of its focus, but it has been left with the MAX order, which despite the brave faces they really should have backed out of. One size does not fit all with Monarch's business. A fleet update with a mix of Airbus NEO's would have been preferable in so many ways. The 787 could have worked as an A330 replacement, but the management of the time did not have the foresight.

You only have to look at the emergence of Jet2 in their core market over this period to see exactly what they could have achieved in this time if they had been well run, I don't see how they could ever have been a direct competitor of Norwegian as they just don't have the scale, but as a niche, well respected, UK originating tour operator driven airline they could have continued to succeed.

Its a terrible shame because the employees really are a class above, but they have been horrendously let down by incompetent leadership.


:checkmark:

Mismanagement is the word of the day here...
 
Marksw76
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Re: Did Monarch miss a trick?

Sat Jul 29, 2017 6:35 pm

They didn't react to a changing holiday market in the UK, caused by the rise of the internet and LCC. In the 80s and 90s there were many smaller tour operators who chartered flights from all of the 'bucket and spade' holiday airlines and Monarch thrived in this era. At the time they were one of the major players in this market, alongside the likes of Britannia, Orion, Dan Air and then latterly Airtours, Air 2000, JMC as well as the Spanish charters Spanair, Futura etc etc. Then one by one these airlines were taken over/shuttered and ended up as two main players TCX and TOM using their own aircraft.

Monarch was kind of left on the shelf at this point bizzarely, at the same time Easyjet/Ryanair started making inroads into the LCC market which was a totally different concept, ZB could have got on board with this in the early days but didn't, instead they stuck with what they knew.

LS then added to their woes, although I would agree, there was clearly room for a third player in the package holiday market and ZB didn't capitalise on this either.

They kind of just stayed in the middle ground, their brand is still seen (I think) as a holiday charter operation rather than a LCC. And this market doesn't really exist any more in the way it did. I think repositioning themselves as a LCC is a difficult task - it's late in the day for this but it's probably the only way forward.. Maybe they can pull it back, but it won't be easy.

The MAX order was baffling
 
mrbonfire
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Re: Did Monarch miss a trick?

Sat Jul 29, 2017 6:43 pm

Marksw76 wrote:

Monarch was kind of left on the shelf at this point bizzarely, at the same time Easyjet/Ryanair started making inroads into the LCC market which was a totally different concept, ZB could have got on board with this in the early days but didn't, instead they stuck with what they knew.


Quite so. I remember the Monarch Scheduled iteration around the mid-2000s. Could have been a real antidote to FR at that time; ZB-loyal price-conscious customer who wanted that ZB level of service (perceived or otherwise).

So many chances squandered.
 
LX138
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Re: Did Monarch miss a trick?

Sat Jul 29, 2017 7:08 pm

Couldn't agree more on the long-haul path. They are getting eaten alive by the LCC's at the moment. The Carribbean/Indian Ocean/Vegas idea is definitely a way to go - that's exactly what they used to be (on top of a good short haul business). I still there there is enough capacity to be offered on those long-haul routes and the yields to be had are still quite good. Bring back that DC-10!!

It's funny though, would I choose to fly on Monarch where I can? Absolutely.
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Marksw76
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Re: Did Monarch miss a trick?

Sat Jul 29, 2017 7:16 pm

LX138 wrote:
It's funny though, would I choose to fly on Monarch where I can? Absolutely.



Me too, I love Monarch. They reminds me of the fun family holidays we had back in the 80s/90s so I am definitely a Monarch fan!

Yes longhaul would be their saviour me thinks. From what I understand, longer haul two week holidays are becoming more popular in the UK, I would bet my mortage that the likes of TOM and TCX wil start flying more of these type of routes from regional airports (where possible), rather than just from LGW or MAN.

The LCC will continue to eat up the short haul holiday market at a guess, so the TUI/Thomas Cook operators will probably also feel the squeeze on the FAO/IBZ type routes.
 
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Markie73
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Re: Did Monarch miss a trick?

Sat Jul 29, 2017 7:26 pm

mrbonfire wrote:
Marksw76 wrote:

Monarch was kind of left on the shelf at this point bizzarely, at the same time Easyjet/Ryanair started making inroads into the LCC market which was a totally different concept, ZB could have got on board with this in the early days but didn't, instead they stuck with what they knew.


Quite so. I remember the Monarch Scheduled iteration around the mid-2000s. Could have been a real antidote to FR at that time; ZB-loyal price-conscious customer who wanted that ZB level of service (perceived or otherwise).

So many chances squandered.


Surely it's going to cost a massive amount of money for Monarch to retrain it's flight/cabin crews from the Airbus to the Boeing 737MAX?, and would it have been cheaper for the airline to order A320/321NEO's that way only a conversion course is needed as existing crews are already familiar with the Airbus?.
 
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Markie73
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Re: Did Monarch miss a trick?

Sat Jul 29, 2017 7:33 pm

What happened to Monarch's Airbus A330 aircraft?, did they end up being sold to other operators or did they end up being parted out like the A300-600R's and the Boeing 757's?.
 
TC957
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Re: Did Monarch miss a trick?

Sat Jul 29, 2017 7:50 pm

They're in Spain with Wamos Air as EC-MJS & EC-MNY.
 
TC957
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Re: Did Monarch miss a trick?

Sat Jul 29, 2017 8:05 pm

Markie73 wrote:
mrbonfire wrote:
Marksw76 wrote:

Monarch was kind of left on the shelf at this point bizzarely, at the same time Easyjet/Ryanair started making inroads into the LCC market which was a totally different concept, ZB could have got on board with this in the early days but didn't, instead they stuck with what they knew.


Quite so. I remember the Monarch Scheduled iteration around the mid-2000s. Could have been a real antidote to FR at that time; ZB-loyal price-conscious customer who wanted that ZB level of service (perceived or otherwise).

So many chances squandered.


Surely it's going to cost a massive amount of money for Monarch to retrain it's flight/cabin crews from the Airbus to the Boeing 737MAX?, and would it have been cheaper for the airline to order A320/321NEO's that way only a conversion course is needed as existing crews are already familiar with the Airbus?.

You would think so. I must say that ZB 738Max order is one of the most surprising orders of recent times.
 
Marksw76
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Re: Did Monarch miss a trick?

Sat Jul 29, 2017 9:46 pm

Well I would imagine the sensible thing would have been to battern down the hatches and make do with the fleet they had when times got tough.

Yes they may have got better leasing deals on the MAX 737s and cheaper maintenance costs, no doubt serious overheads for them but from what I recall G-ZBAM and a couple of other Airbuses are only a couple of years old at the moment
 
Cunard
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Re: Did Monarch miss a trick?

Sun Jul 30, 2017 12:13 am

Markie73 wrote:
mrbonfire wrote:
Marksw76 wrote:

Monarch was kind of left on the shelf at this point bizzarely, at the same time Easyjet/Ryanair started making inroads into the LCC market which was a totally different concept, ZB could have got on board with this in the early days but didn't, instead they stuck with what they knew.


Quite so. I remember the Monarch Scheduled iteration around the mid-2000s. Could have been a real antidote to FR at that time; ZB-loyal price-conscious customer who wanted that ZB level of service (perceived or otherwise).

So many chances squandered.


Surely it's going to cost a massive amount of money for Monarch to retrain it's flight/cabin crews from the Airbus to the Boeing 737MAX?, and would it have been cheaper for the airline to order A320/321NEO's that way only a conversion course is needed as existing crews are already familiar with the Airbus?.


I believe that Boeing are either paying for or at least subsidised the cost of the crew training for Monarch as part of the 737 Max deal.
94 Countries, 327 Destinations Worldwide, 32 Airlines, 29 Aircraft Types, 182 Airports, 335 Flights.
 
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aemoreira1981
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Re: Did Monarch miss a trick?

Sun Jul 30, 2017 1:09 am

User001 wrote:
But the TCX routes on the other hand are seemingly quite successful.

The SFO/BOS routes on VS, while not stellar performers, are not a complete basket case either. Just need to find the right niche. TCX and VS battling on the same routes probably doesn't help matter though....


I also wonder if ZB ever thought that MT would try to reposition itself as a semi-full-service carrier with a true premium economy product instead of just a leisure airline. VS is also going where ZB might have gone.

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