EasyJet and Wizz Air are among rivals reportedly vying for parts of Monarch’s short-haul business.
They are among a number of airlines to have tabled proposals to partner or take over Monarch’s short-haul operations, according to Sky News.
The offers were made less than two weeks after it emerged that the travel group was plotting a radical overhaul of its strategy, underlining the urgency with which it is trying to find a new home for the division.
Monarch’s board and shareholders believe the company, which needed rescuing with a huge cash injection this time last year, could have a profitable future as a long-haul carrier.
The company, which employs more than 2,500 people and carries around six million passengers a year, is reported to be in talks with regulators about the annual extension of its tour operator’s licence, which expires on Saturday.
Monarch had discussed its plans “at length” with the Civil Aviation Authority, sources reportedly said, adding that they did not expect it to need the 12-day extension to renew its Atol licence that was required in 2016.
Sky News revealed last week that Monarch, which is expected to carry more than six million passengers this year, has been working with KPMG on options for its short-haul business through a joint venture or feeder deal with another airline.
Sources told the news network that central and eastern European budget carrier Wizz Air may be interested in Monarch partly as a short-cut to gaining a UK-based Air Operator’s Certificate.
Wizz Air has already said that it is working on an application for such a licence, although it would not be interested in the bulk of Monarch’s short-haul network.
EasyJet, which declined to comment, and Norwegian also tabled bids for parts of the Monarch business this week, according to insiders.
A spokesman for Monarch told Travel Weekly last week: “In recent months we have undertaken, and continue to undertake, a comprehensive review of Monarch designed to determine its optimal future shape, size and strategy.
“We are having regular discussions on a number of options with potential strategic partners and we will announce any material developments, if and when they happen.”
Monarch became a fully scheduled airline and pulled out of long-haul after the firm was saved from collapse by Greybull Capital which then pumped in £165 million a year ago to support a restructuring.
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