Monarch Airbus A320 in flight /

'This is nothing to do with Monarch Airlines, please ignore the rumours'

The UK budget airline Monarch has denied rumours it is going bust, amid growing concerns among passengers that their bookings may be at risk.

Speculation began to circulate on Sunday afternoon that the airline, a 48-year-old British aviation icon, was set to close.

The airline continued to advertise holiday deals and take bookings for flights late into Sunday evening.

And while nothing was sent out to the 113,000 followers of Monarch's verified Twitter account, the airline has begun replying directly to customers asking if the rumours are true.

"Hi there, the rumours are not true. Please ignore them," the airline tweeted at a user Ashy Williams, who had said the speculation was "coming out of Manchester airport" and asked "what do we do about our flights?"

Another user, Steven Bowie, asked why "are there aircraft coming to the UK for repatriation flights". Monarch said: "Hi Steven, this is nothing to do with Monarch Airlines, please ignore the rumours."

That tweet was among a number which suggested the rumours stem from eagle-eyed flight spotters. Another asked: "Why are United Airlines covering the exact same flights and times as your routes."

Asked directly by Adam Farmiloe - "Are you going bust tonight? Hope not, we have flights booked" - Monarch replied: "Absolutely not Adam. We hope you have a great flight, where are you off to?"