The Monarch Group, one of the best known names in the UK travel sector, today announces a restructuring of its activities and a range of senior management appointments, which are being implemented to create a unified organisation with better prospects for growth and improved financial performance over the medium term, and for strengthening its competitive position in its chosen markets.
The Monarch Group is a leading UK-based travel group with activities in scheduled and charter airline operations, tour operations, aircraft engineering, and online travel retail activities. It has its principal offices in Luton, Bromley, Crawley, and a call centre in Stockport. The Group has an annual turnover of some £790 million, operates a fleet of 30 aircraft, and offers airline and tour operating services to over 6.6 million sector passengers and 780,000 tour operating customers each year to a total of 79 destinations. The Group's travel products are offered through a number of well known brands including Monarch Airlines, First Aviation, Avro, Cosmos Holidays, Cosmos Coach Tours, somewhere2stay and Archers Direct.
Since the beginning of 2010, a substantial and detailed review of the Monarch Group's businesses, its governance structure and senior management roles has been carried out by the senior management working closely with the shareholders, and the Group is now pleased to announce that this review is complete. The main elements of the restructuring are as follows:
- - The Group's businesses are being redefined and their organisation consolidated into a unified travel group.
- - All the activities in the Group will be formally managed on a Group basis, coordinated through a fully functioning Group Executive Committee.
- - The operational performance of each of the Group's divisions will be reported to the CEO and the Group Executive through the newly created position of Chief Operating Officer.
- - A wide range of senior management promotions and appointments has been confirmed.
- - The existing Airline Operations will be formed into a new separate division with its own Managing Director.
- - A new division will be created - Retail and Online Activities - focused on the strengthening and development of the Group's existing online and retail capability for all of its products in Scheduled Activities, Charter Activities and Tour Operations.
- - Two new internal groups - the Marketing Group and the Commercial Group - have been established to coordinate group-wide management of these issues.
A new Group Chief Executive ("CEO") is expected to be appointed during 2010 following completion of a formal selection and appointment process which is now underway.
Following the restructuring the operations of the Group will be organised into the following operating divisions:
- Scheduled Airline Activities
- Charter Airline Activities
- Airline Operations
- Aircraft Engineering
- Tour Operations
- Retail and Online Activities
Each of these divisions will be managed by a Managing Director who will be a member of the Group Executive Committee. Further optimisation of the Group's brands is also expected soon following completion of a review now underway.
A number of senior promotions within the Group have been announced today to reflect the changes in structure:
- Kevin George - promotion to Managing Director Airline Operations, who will also join the Group Executive Committee and the Commercial and Marketing Groups.
- Stuart Jackson - promotion to new group-wide role of Group Distribution Director, reflecting the core emphasis on strengthening all the Group's distribution capabilities and relationships.
- Tim Jeans - additional responsibility as Chair of Marketing Group.
- Alan MacLean - appointed as Managing Director of Cosmos Coach Tours, and will continue on the Group Executive Committee.
- Richard Mintern - promotion to Chief Operating Officer.
- Hugh Morgan - appointed Managing Director Tour Operations, who will also join the Group Executive Committee.
- Alan Murray - additional responsibility as Chair of Commercial Group.
Further, the recent appointment of Simon Tucker as Group Finance Director (with over 20 years in the travel industry) was announced in March 2010. Two further senior management appointments have also been made - Chris Bennett joins the Group on 28 June 2010 as Finance Director of Monarch Airlines (from EasyJet), and Richard Hadfield joins the Group on 26 July 2010 as Managing Director Retail and Online Activities (bringing online retailing expertise from previous roles with Opodo and Thomas Cook).
Commenting on the restructuring, Iain Rawlinson, Executive Chairman, said: "This restructuring is the formal beginning of a process of transformation and renewal in our Group which has already been gathering momentum since the beginning of the year. There are significant advantages to be gained from working together as a unified group, many of which were seen in the extremely challenging circumstances surrounding the recent ash crisis. A number of these advantages can now be recognised in the day to day running of the Group's activities, and in its operational and financial performance. This offers exciting potential for the future.
The Group has had the benefit of the substantial involvement from the shareholders in the review leading up to this announcement, and the Group Executive has been able to take advantage of their deep knowledge of all the Group's activities in formulating the restructuring plan. The Group Executive Committee looks forward to bringing further news of developments as they arise."
Description of the Monarch Group
The Monarch Group (the "Group") contains some of the best-established names in the British travel sector. Customer care and service lie at the heart of the Group's business approach, and the Group enjoys high levels of repeat business from both business and retail customers in all its operations. When the Group was founded in its current form in 1967 it had 146 staff - today this has grown to over 3,000 highly-trained personnel.
Monarch Holdings plc
The holding company of the Group is Monarch Holdings plc. The principal subsidiaries are Monarch Airlines, Monarch Aircraft Engineering, First Aviation and a number of household-name tour operators such as Cosmos Holidays, Avro, Archers Direct and Cosmos Tourama, as well as the online hotel booking service somewhere2stay.com.
A major part of the Monarch Group, Monarch Airlines operates a fleet of 30 aircraft on scheduled and charter flights from a number of UK airports, including Birmingham, London Gatwick, London Luton and Manchester. Flying to more than 50 destinations worldwide, it carries in excess of 6.5 million sector passengers every year. The airline is also a key supplier of aircraft and seats to the tour operating industry.
Monarch Airlines' main activities are organised as follows:
Scheduled Activities - low fare, convenient flights that can be booked direct online, by telephone, or through travel agents, which operate to a total of 16 destinations primarily to Spain, Portugal, the Canary and Balearic Islands, Cyprus and Turkey.
Charter Activities - through First Aviation the Group is the UK's largest independent charter airline, flying more than 2.5 million sector passengers to over 50 mid and long-haul destinations worldwide every year. The Group has a wide range of long established relationships with tour operators, from household- names to specialist travel businesses, while the ad-hoc division services the needs of major organisations, corporations and sporting institutions.
Airline Operations - newly organised separately within the Group's aviation activities, this division manages all aspects of the safe and efficient airline operations supporting the Scheduled and Charter Activities, and Tour Operations.Other aviation activities include cargo operations and aircraft leasing.
Having been in operation for some 50 years, Cosmos Holidays is one of the oldest and well established brands in UK tour operating, and provides holidays to over 780,000 customers in 65 destinations annually. Cosmos is the UK's largest independent tour operator.
Cosmos Coach Tours remains the world's largest European coach tour operator with escorted coach touring programmes throughout Europe, North America and worldwide. The Cosmos air and coach programmes offer a wide range of high quality products and great value holidays to both short and long haul destinations. Also offered are the lifestyle programmes through its long haul Distant Dreams, Villas with Pools, All Inclusive and Dream Weddings brochures.Part of the
Cosmos Holidays programme since 2002, the accommodation only brand, somewhere2stay, supplies hotel, apartment and villa accommodation around the world to the UK travel trade.
Also based within the tour operating business is Avro, the UK's leading charter flight-only operator and voted the UK's Best Seat-Only Operator by travel agents for 10 years consecutively, which offers a broad range of charter seat availability, duration and prices - offering flights to some 40 destinations from up to 8 UK airports. This business is expanding to meet the demand from the growing dynamic packaging sector and from overseas property buying especially in Eastern Mediterranean destinations such as Cyprus, Turkey and Bulgaria, selling overall in excess of 1 million flight sectors annually. The tour operations also include Archers Direct which is one of the UK's leading direct-sell tour operators offering a selection of escorted coach touring, resort stay and cruising holidays worldwide.
Retail and Online Activities
A newly established division, Retail and Online Activities is focused on the strengthening and development of the Group's existing online and retail capability for all of its products in Scheduled and Charter Activities and
Based in Luton, it operates in support of all the Group's locations, products, destinations and customer relationships.
Monarch Aircraft Engineering
MAEL is the technical division of the Monarch Group, catering for the engineering and maintenance requirements of the Monarch fleet as well as providing services to some of the best known airlines around the world. With hangar facilities at London Luton and Manchester airports, and line maintenance stations across the UK and worldwide, the company employs some 700 staff. A sister company Monarch Technical Support has a strong reputation for the provision of highly qualified engineers to airlines, third party maintenance organisations and corporate fixed base operations.