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Luton based Monarch secures operating licence within hours of deadline

Monarch's base in Luton. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Luton based Monarch Airlines has negotiated a twelve day extension to its operating licence with the Civil Aviation Authority within hours of its deadline.

The company which employs nearly 3,000 people at its base at Luton Airport had until midnight (30th September/1st October) to reach an agreement to extend its ATOL licence if it was to continue selling package holidays.

The airline thanked the CAA and says it's also secured new funding and is close to announcing the largest investment in its 48 year history.

Monarch now has until October 12th to secure its funding, then it's likely it will have its licence renewed for the usual twelve months.

I am delighted that we have been able to come to an agreement with the CAA on the extension of Monarch's ATOL licence and am excited about the additional capital coming into the group which will help us fund our future growth. I am immensely proud of the professionalism of the Monarch team.

– Andrew Swaffield, Chief Executive Officer of The Monarch Group

Monarch continues to fly and says it looks forward to welcoming customers onboard.

A look back at the first 40 years of Monarch Airlines

As rumors continue over the future of Luton-based airline Monarch ITV News Anglia takes a look back into the archives to when they celebrated their 40th anniversary in 2008.

Rewind to April 1968 and the airlines first passengers were getting ready to begin a journey they would never forget.

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Monarch needs to renew operating licence

The Luton based airline Monarch must renew its operating licence this week to continue selling package holidays, a regulator has said.

The firm was forced to deny "negative speculation" over the weekend that it is in financial trouble.

It is part of the government-backed Atol scheme, which compensates travellers in full and ensures they are not stranded if a holiday company collapses.

The UK's specialist aviation regulator, the Civil Aviation Authority, said Monarch's Atol licence expires on Friday and if it is not renewed it will be unable to sell package holidays.

Holidaymakers currently abroad or due to travel after Friday would still be protected if the licence is not renewed as the scheme is dependent on when a trip is booked rather than when it takes place.

Monarch's owner is in talks with several interested parties about a potential takeover of the carrier as it prepares to throw it a multimillion-pound lifeline.

Over the weekend there has been negative speculation about Monarch's financial health.

Our flights and holidays are operating as normal, carrying Monarch customers as scheduled.

To weather tougher market conditions and to fund its ongoing growth, Monarch expects to announce a significant investment from its stakeholders in the coming days.

– Monarch

EasyJet pilots vote for industrial action - as airline makes last-minute offer

An EasyJet plane. Credit: Press Association.

Pilots at Luton-based airline EasyJet have voted to take industrial action in a dispute over fatigue.

However, their union, Balpa, has announced that talks are planned to try to resolve the row following a last-minute offer from the company.

General Secretary Brian Strutton said 96% of members at the airline voted for some form of industrial action on a turnout of 88%.

Balpa said it would issue further information tomorrow after considering the offer from EasyJet.

"For clarity that means there are no plans for pilots taking industrial action in EasyJet at this stage."

– Brian Strutton, Balpa.

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Union gives cautious welcome to Bernard Matthews sale

Poultry giant Bernard Matthews has been sold Credit: ITV News Anglia

It's been reported tonight that East Anglia's poultry giant Bernard Matthews has been sold to the 2 Sisters Food Group.

The firm - based at Great Witchingham in Norfolk employs more than two thousand people in the region.

The Unite has given the sale a cautious welcome and say they will meet with managers tomorrow to discuss future employment and pay under the new ownership.

Housing market in the East of England picking up after Brexit

House prices are rising again following a dip after Brexit. Credit: ITV News Anglia

The housing market's expected to pick up again across the east following a dip after Brexit.

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors says house prices will increase by 3.3% per year on average for the next five years.

This marks the most confident prediction given in the survey since the referendum vote, although not as strong as predictions made closer to the start of the year, when surveyors predicted annual price growth of more than 4%.

East Anglia has seen the strongest growth in the UK with 30 % of surveyors reporting price rises.

"There are clear signs that the housing market is settling down after the initial surprise of the outcome to the EU referendum. Buyer enquiries did dip again in August but only modestly, and more significantly, sales expectations are beginning to edge upwards once again."

– Simon Rubinsohn, Rics chief economist

London Luton to New York flights suspended

La Compagnie plane at London Luton Airport. Credit: La Compagnie

Flights between London Luton Airport and New York (Newark) have been suspended after French operator La Compagnie said the service was no longer economical to run.

The Business class boutique airline says it wants to concentrate on it's Paris to New York route in the wake of of a challenging financial climate in Europe.

Flights between Luton and New York began in April last year and will cease on Sunday 25th September .

We would like to express our sincere thanks to each and every one of our passengers who have supported us since the launch of our London – New York operations from April 2015 to present. This has not been an easy decision for us to make but we would like to emphasise that this is the suspension of, not the cancellation of, the London – New York route

– Frantz Yvelin, Founder CEO of La Compagnie.
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