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Honeymooners 'stranded' after Monarch collapse

The Luton based airline went into administration this morning Credit: PA

Monarch customers have been forced to scramble for flights after the airline's collapse into administration disrupted holiday plans.

A Lithuanian couple on their honeymoon were among passengers who arrived at Luton Airport this morning to find their flight had been cancelled.

Vilius Linkunaitis, 31, said he and his new wife, Zivile Rakauskaite, 32, felt "stranded" and "lost" after learning they would not be able to fly. The couple, who married just days ago, had flown to London from Riga, Latvia, and were due to travel on to Malaga in Spain for the end of their honeymoon.

They said Monarch was not answering its phones. He said he had been told by airport staff to go online to find the cheapest seats on an alternative flight.

"We feel very stranded and just lost and I don't know what to do now."

– Vilius Linkunaitis, Monarch passenger

Karen Patrick, from Northamptonshire, was due to fly with Monarch Airlines to Rome with relatives who are visiting from the United States.

The 53-year-old said fights with alternative operators were "going so quickly" as the group tried to work out what to do. She said: "We just could not believe it and we have our relatives who have come from America too. It's just unbelievable."

The group only discovered that travel with Monarch had been suspended when they arrived at Luton Airport. They have managed to get seats on a flight with easyJet on Tuesday and have been forced to pay for the new flights, but hope the cost will be covered by their insurance.

Ann Johnson, from Luton, said there had been a lack of information for holidaymakers. The 75-year-old, who was due to go with her husband on a one-week package holiday to Faro, Portugal, arrived at Luton airport at about 4am on Monday.

"There was no notice up - nothing. We were just walking around looking for the check-in desk. There's no actual information desk here to go and ask anyone and no-one knows what to do. There's no-one giving out food or vouchers."

– Ann Johnson, Monarch Passenger

The couple have been forced to pay approximately #450 for two Ryanair flights on Monday evening, including baggage, but face a twelve-hour wait at the airport before take-off.

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Fears for the future of Northampton's historic market

Traders fear for the future because of proposed changes to the layout of Northampton's historic market. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Despite being a fixture in the town for hundreds of years there are fears about the future of Northampton's historic market.

Some stall holders say changes to the layout in the Market Square mean they will get less footfall and could be forced to shut up shop.

"This will be the finish of us, this will affect us so badly. The council do not know what they're doing, they have no idea whatsoever, no consultation whatsoever with traders.

"We might make it until Christmas, but we won't make it after that I don't think, so it'll be the end for us. Very sad, very angry."

– Anne Andreoli, Market trader

Northampton Borough Council is spending £30,000 on the project and says the works will improve the market and bring in more shoppers and traders.

Officials insist all traders were invited to have their say at a meeting.

  • Watch a report by ITV News Anglia's Sarah Byrd

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Family-run bus company steps in to save abandoned services

As bigger bus companies move away from some rural routes a small business has stepped in to save them. Credit: ITV News Anglia

An small family-run bus company has stepped in to continue running vital services for rural villages on the Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire border.

It comes with local councils across our region reducing their bus subsidies leaving some communities feeling cut off.

Brian Clifford, who runs A-2-B buses in Melbourn near Royston, says bigger companies are reluctant to run some country bus routes because they don't make enough money to cover their costs.

  • Click to watch a report by ITV News Anglia's Stuart Leithes
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