Monarch Airlines CEO pocketed £583,000 salary and set up new company days before collapse

Companies House records show Andrew Swaffield listed as director of a new business, days before Monarch collapsed 

Josie Cox
Tuesday 03 October 2017 15:20 BST
Monarch's chief executive is reported to have pushed flight sales just days before going into administration
Monarch's chief executive is reported to have pushed flight sales just days before going into administration (REUTERS)

The chief executive of Monarch reportedly pocketed a six-figure salary and set up a new company just days before the airline collapsed into administration.

Andrew Swaffield told the BBC’s Today programme that he was “absolutely devastated” by Monarch’s collapse on Monday and that he blamed terrorism for the closure of certain markets – like Turkey, Egypt and Tunisia – that ultimately contributed to Monarch’s demise.

On Tuesday, the Sun reported that Mr Swaffield had sent staff an email just days before the airline entered administration telling them to ignore speculation about the company’s problems.

It also reported that Monarch had pushed a flight sale just three days before going into administration, encouraging customers to book flights that would never take off.

The paper said that the CEO had earned a £583,000 a year and Companies House records show that on Friday – likely while last minute talks to save the airline were going on – a new consulting business was registered with Companies House of which Mr Swaffield is listed as a director.

Administrators announced that they had taken control of the nearly 50-year old airline in the early hours of Monday, putting almost 1,900 jobs at risk and scuppering holiday plans of hundreds of thousands.

The Government has since kicked off what it has called the “country’s biggest ever peacetime repatriation” effort to fly about 110,000 passengers currently stranded abroad back home.

Monarch, which was the UK’s fifth biggest airline, had been struggling for some years. It had significant exposure to Egypt and was badly bruised when, in November 2015, the Foreign Office banned UK airlines from flying to the resort of Sharm el Sheikh because of security fears.

More recently it had strained to compete with cut-price rivals like Ryanair and easyJet, especially in the Mediterranean.

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