Monarch Airlines went into administration on Monday, sparking an unprecedented fallout for the UK aviation industry.
The Civil Aviation Authority has begun the biggest peacetime repatriation of UK citizens in history, with 110,000 Britons stranded abroad.
Nearly 2,000 people have lost their jobs, with most Monarch staff being made redundant.
It marks the tragic end of the airline’s 50-year run in the aviation industry.
Monarch’s chief execute Andrew Swaffield said he was “absolutely devastated” by the collapse of Monarch, insisting he “tried everything” to keep the airline afloat.
Why has Monarch gone bust and are other airlines at risk?
What went wrong?
There were a number of major factors which contributed to the airline’s demise.
Mr Swaffield penned a letter to staff to explain why Monarch was shutting down, and terrorism was dealt heavy blame.
He said: “We had a turnaround year in 2015. But since then, outside influences have badly affected us.
“Since 2015 we’ve seen yields collapse by a quarter, resulting in £160m less revenue.
“This has especially affected Spain and Portugal which is 80 per cent of our business.
“The root cause is the closure, due to terrorism, of Sharm-El-Sheikh and Tunisia and the decimation of Turkey.”
Why has Monarch gone bust? The airline collapsed due to several major factors
Monarch’s problem was it was it was neither one thing nor the other
Brexit has also been blamed for the airline’s collapse, due to the weakened pound which plummeted in the wake of the vote last June.
Sterling failed to climb back to pre-vote levels, and many of Monarch’s costs were paid in other major world currencies.
Fuel for instance, was paid in US dollars, and the GBP/USD rate has plummeted about 10 per cent since the Brexit decision.
In the same timeframe, Monarch’s sales dropped due to increasing competition.
Transport minister Chris Grayling told Sky News: “Monarch has really been a victim of a price war in the Mediterranean.
“Monarch’s problem was it was it was neither one thing nor the other. It was not really… a package holiday airline, nor was it really a low cost airline.
“I think it got rather squeezed in the middle.”
Low-cost airlines easyJet and Ryanair have been undercutting the airline with heavily discounted flights for the last few years.
Wizz Air and Norwegian are also major players in the aggressive budget flight wars across Europe.
According to Monarch’s administrator KPMG, the airline’s problems could be summed up by falling revenues and rising costs.
Why has Monarch gone bust? Terrorism, Brexit, fuel costs and competition have all been blamed
Are other airlines at risk?
Monarch is the third major European airline to collapse this year alone.
The trio of failures points to an issue of excess capacity in the short-haul aviation market in Europe.
Alitalia filed for bankruptcy in May while Air Berlin became insolvent in August.
But now that all three at-risk airlines have dissolved, this could plausibly correct the market and allow the remaining players to reap the benefits.
Ryanair, easyJet, Lufthansa and IAG represent the top four airlines on the continent, and are each performing well financially.
Shares in rival airlines have spiked since Monarch ceased trading and KPMG said it is “hopeful that some of the best slots would be sold”.
But only the most adaptable airlines – in every facet of business – will hope to survive long-term.