Monarch administrators win appeal over Gatwick and Luton runway slots

Monarch administrators win appeal over Gatwick and Luton runway slots

Monarch has won an appeal against a decision that had denied them of their right to sell its airline slots.

Administrators for the failed airline, KPMG, had lost a High Court battle over “valuable” runway slots it wants to exchange with other carriers to raise cash for creditors.

An application made directly to the Court of Appeal was heard on November 17.

Judges refused a “stay” on their order in respect of Manchester and Birmingham airports, but granted one in relation to Gatwick and Luton until November 23.

KPMG hope to raise capital by transferring the slots at Gatwick and Luton airports, estimated to be worth £60 million, to other airlines.

The decision is a big win for Monarch’s owners, the private equity group Greybull Capital, as the proceeds from the slots were critical in giving it the potential to make a profit on its investment.

Greybull, run by brothers Marc and Nathaniel Meyohas, have the first call on the failed carrier’s assets, the Financial Times reported.

Greybull pledged last night that as long as it was not out of pocket, it would hand over some of the proceeds of the slot sales to the Civil Aviation Authority, which organised more than 500 flights to bring 84,000 Monarch passengers back to the UK following the failure.

Monarch was Gatwick’s fifth-largest operator, with 18 daily take-off and landing slots.

KPMG is understood to have struck a deal to sell the Gatwick slots to British Airways owner International Airlines Group.

It is believed IAG plans to use the rights to launch its fledgling long-haul low fare offshoot Level at Gatwick, according to The Times.

Level, which has been going for less than a year, currently only operates from Barcelona.

It is thought that IAG would use the Gatwick spaces to spark a fare war with Norwegian, the carrier that has been cutting the price of flying between London and the US.

Monarch’s old slots at Luton are understood to have been sold by KPMG to Wizz Air, which announced expansion from the airport earlier this week.

Monarch’s slots at Manchester and Birmingham are being redistributed to existing airlines for free.

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