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Monarch Airlines Folds As European Airlines Continue To Struggle

British air carrier Monarch Airlines seems to be permanently grounded. The U.K.'s fifth-largest airline shut down Monday, making it the biggest British airline to ever collapse.

The sudden shutdown has left more than 100,000 passengers in need of a lift home. An estimated 750,000 more passengers had future flights cancelled.

The accounting firm managing Monarch's bankruptcy said "mounting cost pressures and increasingly competitive market conditions" forced the airline to fold.

Monarch's collapse is the latest chapter in a rough year for European airlines. Alitalia, which is owned by the Italian government, is up for sale. Air Berlin also filed for bankruptcy after it was unable to pay its debt. And Ryanair, Europe's largest airline, had to cancel more than 20,000 flights due to a pilot shortage.

SEE MORE: The Case Of The 'Incredible Shrinking Airline Seat' Goes To Court

As for why Monarch failed — some are blaming Britain's exit from the European Union. The Guardian points out there is evidence that Brexit played a role in the airline's collapse. Analysts say some would-be passengers stayed home as the pound dropped in value, and Monarch was forced to pay an extra £50 million for fuel. 

Passengers who planned to return to the U.K. on Monarch flights can instead catch free rides on planes chartered by the Civil Aviation Authority.


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