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January 2019


David Pike, Ben Leith and David Standish from KPMG’s restructuring practice were appointed Joint Administrators of Monarch Aircraft Engineering Limited (MAEL) on 4 January 2019, at the request of the directors.


Established in 1967 and headquartered at London Luton Airport, MAEL employs approximately 579 staff across the UK and Europe, providing aircraft maintenance services across four main divisions – base maintenance, line maintenance, fleet technical support (Continuing Airworthiness Management Organisation – CAMO) and a training academy.


The company completed a restructuring in October 2018, following which a number of MAEL’s customers sought alternative suppliers. This presented the business with significant challenges, making it unsustainable in its present form. On 14 December 2018, MAEL therefore announced that it was in talks with potential partners with a view to selling all, or parts of, the business.


Earlier this week, MAEL announced the transfer of the majority of its line maintenance operations to a number of different parties, thereby protecting jobs and ensuring continuity of service for the airlines that use those facilities on a daily basis:


  • MAEL’s UK line maintenance operations at Gatwick, Birmingham, East Midlands, Newcastle and Glasgow Airports have largely transferred to Morson Group, with the Luton Airport line maintenance operations transferring to Storm Aviation. Certain Gatwick-based employees have also transferred to Boeing.
  • Further operations at Manchester and Birmingham Airports, including related employees, were transferred to Flybe following the cessation of their maintenance contract in late November 2018.


Collectively, these acquisitions ensure continuing employment for 182 of MAEL’s employees.

The base maintenance business undertakes aircraft overhaul and major heavy maintenance programmes from hangers in Luton and Birmingham. This is the activity that suffered most from the loss of key customers following the October 2018 restructuring. Unfortunately, with significant losses being incurred on this activity and with no offer having been received, operations will be suspended immediately, resulting in the redundancy of around 250 employees. The administrators will be seeking a purchaser for the base maintenance facilities and will be working with the small number of base maintenance customers affected by this cessation of trade.


All remaining activities of MAEL continue to trade whilst the administrators seek buyers. These are:


The CAMO division, which has 27 employees and provides the continuous upkeep of airworthiness records and scheduled maintenance requirements for 33 aircraft across eight customers.


  • The training academy, which comprises an engineering training school based out of Luton with a total of seven employees, and an apprenticeship programme with 53 trainees.
  • The administrators are seeking to sell the training school and intend to retain the apprentices for a period while assisting them in finding new apprenticeship placements.

The remaining 200 MAEL staff are largely Luton based. Regrettably, the majority will be made redundant with 83 employees retained to support the wind down of the business, in addition to those retained in the CAMO and training businesses.

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