Monarch is the Bookies favourite as ‘next airline to go bankrupt’

The Irish bookmaker claims that in the past seven days more than 100 bets have
been placed
on Monarch
, shortening the airline’s odds from 50/1 to 4/1 to be the
next airline to go bankrupt

A Paddy Power spokesman said “Almost 8 out of every 10 bets
placed over the last week have been on Monarch. It’s following a similar
pattern to XL Airways last year.”

Monarch has reacted angrily to the claim, suggesting it is a promotion stunt
by the bookmakers, which admits it is “famous for its mischievous and
sometimes irreverent promotional campaigns”. A spokesman issued this
statement: “Monarch is the UK’s oldest airline still operating under
its original brand name and will enter into its 42nd year of flying in 2010.
The airline is privately owned by wealthy shareholders and has accumulated
substantial assets in its balance sheet over its 41 years of profitable
trading.

“Monarch is one of the UK’s leading low cost airlines and is the airline
of choice for independent tour operators in the UK. It has recently launched
a series of new routes to Turkey for Summer 2010 and has invested close to
$1bn USD in a fleet of six Boeing 787 Dreamliners. It will be the second UK
airline to take delivery of these aircraft. Monarch is currently 2% ahead on
scheduled load factors for December 2009 compared to the same month last
year, with forward bookings into 2010 ahead of forecasts.”

The airline offers both charter and schedule flights, and serves more than 100
destinations from the UK with a fleet of 100 aircraft. It carriers around 7
million passengers a year.

The bookmaker’s predictions are, of course, purely speculative and not based
on any other indicators.

Passengers who have bookings to fly with Monarch over the coming months would
be refunded or offered alternative flights in the event of bankruptcy as
long as their flight booking is part of a package or is Atol-protected.

Customers who buy scheduled flights directly from an airline which then goes
bankrupt, must appeal to their travel insurer or credit card provider for a
refund in the event of airline bankruptcy.

Paddy Power started taking bets on airline bankruptcies in September 2008. As
soon as betting opened, odds on XL Airways shortened from around 4/1 to near
evens following bets from around 200 punters, before betting was suspended
and the carrier announced bankruptcy in September 2008. The bookmakers paid
out £15,000.

Current joint second favourite to go bust are Polish carrier Wizz Air and the
Finnish flag carrier Finnair, at 11/2. These are followed by Malev at 13/2
and Aer Arann at 9/1.

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