Where did Monarch’s plane end up after it collapsed?
In October 2017, British leisure carrier Monarch wrote a sad story by becoming the biggest British airline to fold. It had been around for almost half a century, operating a myriad of narrow and wide body aircraft. But what happened to the planes that were part of Monarch’s fleet when it collapsed?
The most popular – the Airbus A321
Monarch Airlines ceased operations in October 2017. This left thousands of passengers stranded and made its fleet of narrow-body planes redundant. The most numerous type of aircraft among its remaining fleet was the long-body Airbus A321.
According to Planespotters.net, Monarch had 25 of these twinjets at the time. In the short term, its A321s returned to the following aircraft rental companies.
- AerGen rental
- Apollo Aviation
- Archway Aviation
- Aviation Capital Group (ACG
- Jackson Square Aviation (JSA)
Of course, these lessors have since found other clients for the ex-Monarch A321s. You can now find them in a myriad of carriers. To name a few, the full list includes Aegean, Avion Express Malta, Just Us Air, Lanmei Airlines, Olympus Airways, Red Wings, Sky Cana, Ural Airlines, Viva Aerobus and Windrose Airlines.
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The fate of Monarch’s A320s
As for the Airbus A320, there were 10 of these aircraft in Monarch’s fleet when it collapsed. These are mainly returned to donors like ALC, Aviation Capital, Apollo, Avolon, DVB Bank, Investec, SMBC Aviation Capital and WNG Capital LLC. They have since been re-let to various airlines, such as Azul, easyJet, Ellinair, Iberia and SunExpress.
A few Monarch A320s went directly to other airlines. For example, Planespotters.net reports that YL-LCP returned to SmartLynx after Monarch collapsed. He had only been there since May 2017 with a seasonal lease and had not even changed his Latvian registration.
Meanwhile, G-ZBAR joined Thomas Cook Airlines Balearics after leaving Monarch. The carrier declared insolvency in December 2019, shortly after the collapse of its parent company Thomas Cook. The 17-year-old plane now flies for Condor as D-AICP.
Finally, an airplane, namely G-ZBAP, was scrapped after leaving Monarch. This aircraft was initially stored in the Netherlands at Woensdrecht Air Base between October and December 2017. It then moved to St Athan in Wales, where it was dismantled the following July.
A single Boeing 737
The Airbus A320 family dominated the Monarch fleet in October 2017. However, this design was not entirely ubiquitous when the British leisure carrier folded. Indeed, it also operated a single aircraft from the American competitor of the A320, the Boeing 737 family.
According to Planespotters.net, it was a Boeing 737-800 which carried the registration G-ZBAV. He originally flew for Turkish low cost airline Pegasus Airlines from June 2010 before joining Monarch in May 2017. Interestingly, he had a 186-seat configuration at Monarch, compared to 189 seats at Pegasus, where he presumably had an extra half row.
After Monarch collapsed less than five months after G-ZBAV arrived, the plane returned to its lessor, Air Lease Corporation. The following summer he was back in action with Russian leisure carrier Nordwind Airlines. It has remained there ever since with a 189-seat configuration and the VP-BSO registration. It is one of 12 737-800 in the Nordwind fleet.
Have you ever flown with Monarch Airlines? What memories do you have of the former British leisure hauler? Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments.