The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) are the UK’s specialist aviation regulator, with a core focus on providing protection to airline customers, making sure they are treated fairly.
A key responsibility of the CAA is to repatriate UK passengers who are stranded abroad when an airline falls into insolvency. The organisation employs over 1000 employees in the UK and is also committed to ensuring security risks are effectively managed, and that the aviation industry meets the highest safety standards.
On 2nd October 2017, during the early hours of the morning, Monarch Airlines, the then fifth largest UK carrier, announced that it had entered administration.
Following multiple talks with Monarch over several weeks, the CAA had developed a contingency plan in case Monarch were to cease trading.
CMAC Group was therefore called upon by the CAA to assist with what, at the time, the biggest repatriation of UK citizens in peace time.
Following the phone call, CMAC executed their emergency repatriation plan, utilising their unrivalled nationwide network to immediately dispatch coaches and taxis for the passengers who would not arrive at their expected airport.
The transport was arranged within 30 minutes of receiving the flight information, which meant the vehicles could reach the airports rapidly, minimising further disruption to the affected passengers.
This was a challenging situation for CMAC, as Monarch Airlines was one of their largest clients with whom they had built a strong relationship with over many years.
Over a three-week period, CMAC helped to repatriate more than 32,000 stranded Monarch customers.
In order to ensure a seamless recovery, CMAC set up a dedicated hotline for the CAA for fast and effective communication.
We also arranged for ground co-ordinators to be present at Gatwick, Manchester and Birmingham airports to support with the operation. This enabled us to effectively co-ordinate thousands of passengers on arrival to their ongoing transport.
The repatriation of passengers ran smoothly following the implementation of CMAC processes.
Successfully bringing back to the UK nearly 100k Monarch customers was a team effort and CMAC was an essential member of that team. They responded quickly and professionally whilst making sure that so many customers were looked after in what was an incredibly stressful situation for them. A huge thank you to everyone at CMAC from all of us at the CAA.Richard Moriarty
CEO, The Civil Aviation Authority