October 29, 2017 / 5:57 PM / a year ago

Failed carrier Monarch investor Greybull would repay rescue bill

LONDON (Reuters) - The former owner of failed British airline Monarch said on Sunday it had a moral obligation to repay some of the bill to bring passengers home if it profits from the administration of the carrier.

FILE PHOTO: Monarch airplanes are seen parked on the runway at Newquay airport, Newquay, Britain, October 26, 2017, REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo

Monarch collapsed on Oct. 2, causing the cancellation of hundreds of thousands of holidays and marooning more than 100,000 tourists abroad.

A repatriation programme was estimated to have cost the British government about 60 million pounds ($79 million).

Transport Minister Chris Grayling had said that Greybull Capital should contribute to the cost of bringing the holiday-makers home, although there was no formal mechanism to demand the investment company did so.

Greybull, which bailed out Monarch a year ago, pledged to defray some of the costs in a letter to lawmakers.

“We concur wholeheartedly with the Secretary of State’s recent statement that any stakeholder who finds themselves in-pocket at the end of the administration process would be under a moral obligation to contribute to other stakeholders,” the company said in a statement about its letter.

“This would include helping to defray the costs incurred by the Department for Transport in repatriating Monarch customers.”

Greybull said it agreed with the minister that it was too early to judge the outcome of the administration.

Monarch’s administrators at accountancy firm KPMG are seeking court guidance about whether they can sell take-off and landing slots at airports such as London’s Gatwick, which reports say could be worth up to 60 million pounds.

Greybull also said in the letter it remained “deeply sorry and saddened that circumstances beyond its control led to the failure of Monarch” despite its efforts turn around the company and the significant capital it had provided since it first invested in 2014.

Reporting by Paul Sandle; Editing by Catherine Evans

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