Monarch to take on Easyjet and Ryanair in budget flights market

Monarch Airlines, which up to now has only provided flights as part of package holidays, is planning to reposition itself as a scheduled airline, offering budget flights to rival Easyjet and Ryanair.

Customers will be able to book their flights on the Monarch website and, unlike its rivals, the airline has announced that it will scrap charges for online debit card bookings – a move which has been welcomed by the consumer affairs group Which?.

The new service will offer a 'build your own class' concept, which guarantees all passengers an allocated seat, although extras like hot meals, seats with extra leg room and extra luggage allowance will carry an additional charge.

Monarch currently serves routes within Europe and beyond, including the Caribbean and Africa, and plans to 'extensively expand' its routes and fleet of aircraft.

Monarch's Conrad Clifford told Bloomberg TV that the service was designed to sit between legacy airlines and budget carriers and was aimed at a niche ' for people that want to pay a little bit more and really enjoy service.'

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