Self-proclaimed 'leading leisure airline' Monarch Airways reported a huge rise in the number of passengers choosing to fly with the veteran carrier in January 2011. Compared to the same period last year, 35,933 extra holidaymakers travelled on Monarch’s routes from 10 UK hubs, including Gatwick, Manchester and Edinburgh.
Monarch says that the increase, equal to 24.07%, means that January 2011 was a record-breaking month for the carrier, and the best start to a year ever experienced by the 44-year-old airline. Load factors, defined by Monarch as the “number of passengers as a proportion of the number of seats available", were also up by 2%, from 76.75% in January 2010 to 78.74% in January 2011.
Destinations in southwestern Europe and the Mediterranean proved to be the most popular routes offered by the airline, as the cold weather in December encouraged UK holidaymakers to seek warmer climes.
Monarch is doing well. February’s press release was almost identical to earlier news items from the airline, which indicated that traffic levels for December and October 2010 were up 5.57% and 7.03% respectively. Load factors for December increased 12.88% over 2009, another record-breaking achievement for the airline. Alicante and Malaga in Spain were two of the most lucrative destinations during the last quarter of 2010 according to the airline.
With regard to January’s figures, Monarch cited the addition of a new route to Majorca from Gatwick and Manchester as a possible reason for the airline’s winter successes. From April 2011, the carrier will also increase capacity on seven routes from Gatwick, including Faro in Portugal and Lanzarote. Flights from Manchester Airport to six ‘sun and sea’ destinations will also have more seats throughout the summer season.