The airline began to operate in early April, 1968 as a secondary company of Globus Gateway Holdings, offering charters flights from Luton to Madrid with, using a Bristol 175 Britannia 300 turboprop. Since 1968, Monarch Airlines has been committed to providing clients with value, quality and choice.
During 1969, Monarch Airlines transported 250,000 passengers, operating with a fleet of six aircraft.
In the early 1970’s, the increasing holiday industry required faster travel. Monarch met that demand by promising to a modern, all-jet fleet, an uncommon step in those days. The airline took delivery of its first Boeing jet, the 720B and the first jet service began1971, December13th. By 1972, it was carrying no less than 500,000 passengers. Ten years later, Monarch was the first charter airline in the world to acquire the new Boeing 757, an extremely sophisticated twin-engine jet. The airline ordered four and Boeing was ready to work with them to customize the aircraft in precisely the ways they wanted.
In 1976, the fleet of Monarch Airlines phased out its last Britannia, turning into an all-jet fleet.
By the 1980’s, many persons wanted to travel independently of set tours. They wanted to reserve their own flights at flexible and suitable times and organize their own lodging. Monarch recognized this need and in the spring of 1985 some licenses were awarded to them for Tenerife, Malaga and Menorca, their scheduled area was born.
During 1981, the airline transported over 1 million passengers, and it also succeeded to open their offices in Gatwick, Manchester and Glasgow.
Two years later, Monarch Airlines added its first Boeing 757 to its fleet.
In early July 1985, it was launched the airline’s first scheduled service departing from Luton to Minorca, using the trademark name Monarch Crown Service.
In 1986 the first scheduled flight took off with direction to Menorca from Luton, flying on a Boeing 737-200 aircraft.
During 1988, the airline carried no less than 2.5 million of passengers.
The first wide body aircraft united the fleet in 1990 – an Airbus A300-600R.
In the same year, a new purpose-built head office was opened, and Monarch Airlines began operations with its own Boeing 757 flight simulator, inside its old base at Luton.
In 1999, the airline added the Airbus A330 to its fleet. This presents the new Premium cabin, with a range of advanced benefits such as augmented seat pitch and width, and seat-back or in-arm video.
In 2001, Monarch Airlines launched its first tool for online booking, permitting passengers to reserve flights straight with the airline without the need to book through a travel agent or to speak to a call center.
2005 Monarch adder its first Boeing 767 to the fleet, letting further expansion of the route network because of the aircraft’s increased range operation.
In 2006 and 2007, Monarch was elected the Leisure Airline of the Year at the annual Travel Trade Gazette Awards.
In March 2007, online reservations made via www.flyMonarch.com surpassed the 90% for the first time.
In 2010 the airline launched scheduled flights to Turkey, taking the benefits of the Eastern Mediterranean’s surge in popularity.
In 2012 Monarch launched the first program of scheduled ski flights, the East Midlands airport was also launched as the fifth base in United Kingdom for the airline.
In October 2014, Greybull Capital, a private investment company and turnaround specialist, acquired from the Globus Travel Group 90% of Monarch Holdings, while the remaining 10% passed to the group’s pension fund. While Greybull’s investment secured £125m of new capital and liquidity facilities, the strategic review which led to the deal restructured Monarch Airlines by downsizing the fleet from 42 to 34 aircraft, 700 redundancies & wage reductions, ceasing long-haul and charter operations, leading, in the end, to the transformation of Monarch into a low-cost carrier focusing on short-haul leisure routes.
In April 2015, the withdrawal of two Airbus A330 aircraft from the Monarch represented both the end of an era and the beginning of an exciting new chapter for Monarch Airlines as the airline completed the transition from one of United Kingdom’s largest charter airlines operating a fleet of over 30 aircraft and flying to over 100 destinations worldwide to a completely scheduled low-cost carrier.
Starting 2016, as it positioned itself as a low-cost airline, Monarch offers several services at an extra charge: checked baggage, allocated seats, in-flight catering, priority services, etc. After the ceasing of long-haul operations, the entire Monarch fleet is now equipped with an all-Economy cabin.
In 2018, Monarch will start taking delivery of 30 Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft ordered in 2014, and, by 2020, will have a uniform and cost-effective fleet to operate scheduled short-haul European leisure routes – holiday destinations around the Mediterranean and the Canary Islands, as well as European ski resorts.
Monarch Airlines has not been involved in any deadly incidents so far.