Jet2, Norwegian Air Shuttle and easyJet vie for Monarch’s airport slots

Monarch Airlines has gone into administration. Picture: Press Association

Monarch Airlines has gone into administration. Picture: Press Association - Credit: Archant

Jet2, Norwegian Air Shuttle and easyJet have emerged as the potential winners from the collapse of rival airline Monarch, with the trio of low-cost carriers in pole position to pick up the bust firm’s landing slots.

The Press Association has reported that the three airlines are among the strongest suitors for the carrier’s take-off and landing spaces which span Manchester, Gatwick, Birmingham, Luton and Leeds-Bradford.

It comes as Jet2, the latest airline to enter the fray, announced on Friday it would add more than 550,000 summer seats to meet increased demand for flights at Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds-Bradford airports.

It means the Leeds-based carrier will now double the size of its fleet from four to eight at Birmingham Airport and add an extra two aircraft in Manchester.

Administrators KPMG have faced questions over whether it is permitted to sell the slots as it begins to try and recoup cash for creditors, or if they should be returned to a slot pool and allocated by Airport Coordination Limited.

A spokesman for KPMG said: “The legal advice the administrators have received is that they can sell the slots.

“We are now trying to establish the process at which we will sell them.”

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Monarch collapsed on Monday, leading to 1,858 workers being made redundant and the flights and holidays of about 860,000 people being cancelled.

Monarch’s private equity owners - Greybull Capital - tipped the Luton-based carrier into administration, citing a highly-competitive market, terrorism and the collapse in the value of the pound as factors leading to its demise.

British Airways owner IAG and WizzAir are also said to be mulling moves for the defunct airline’s take-off and landing spaces.