U.K. Jets on Standby If Monarch Air Fails, Sunday Times Says

(Bloomberg) -- U.K. regulators have 10 aircraft ready to pick up Monarch Airlines Ltd. holidaymakers if the low-cost carrier halts flights, according to the Sunday Times.

Two of the planes, which were all leased from Qatar Airways Ltd., are at London Stansted Airport, the newspaper reported, without saying where it got the information from. A spokesman for the Civil Aviation Authority declined to comment on the report when contacted by Bloomberg News on Sunday. A Monarch spokesman said its flights were operating as scheduled.

As many as 100,000 travelers could be stranded if Monarch halts flights, according to the Sunday Times. The closely held budget carrier is facing renewed financial pressures, after a last-minute rescue last year, prompting a strategic review and regulatory concerns about its future.

The CAA granted the airline a 24-hour extension to its Air Travel Organiser’s Licence on Saturday. The regulator plans to give daily updates on the carrier’s status under ATOL, a program that protects holidaymakers against operators’ financial failures.

Monarch’s majority shareholder Greybull Capital rescued the carrier last year with a 165 million-pound ($221 million) capital injection.

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