The British Consul for Andalucía and the Canaries, Charmaine Arbouin, told SUR in English on Thursday that Gibraltar had experienced its own problems during the repatriation operation this week, because its airport is so unique.
“Some of the aircraft assigned to the replacement flights were too big to land at Gibraltar,” she explained, “or the pilots did not have the right experience.” This led to some passengers being taken by bus to Malaga airport. In some cases their flights did not take off until around 1am.
The Gibraltar government was quick to respond to the news that the airline had gone into administration, and issued a statement on Monday morning to confirm that it was actively engaging with the UK government to find ways in which it could assist affected passengers.
The Gibraltar authorities told Monarch customers who were booked on flights to the UK within the next two weeks that they would be able to travel on the chartered replacement aircraft for the outbound portion of their tickets, but strongly advised all other Monarch customers to re-book with other airlines. It also produced an advice sheet with useful information and full contact details for concerned passengers.
Meanwhile, the Gibraltar Health Authority swiftly made arrangements for all sponsored patients who had been due to fly with Monarch for medical attention in the UK to be rebooked with other airlines.
Patients travelling for private medical treatment who had booked their own flights were told they could fly out on a 'rescue' flight within the next two weeks but would have to rebook their return trip.