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Air cabin crew arrive at Monarch HQ in Luton to learn they've lost their jobs

Staff at the now collapsed Monarch airlines have been arriving at the firm's headquarters at Luton airport to learn they've lost their jobs.

The carrier, which was about to mark its 50th anniversary, went into administration today triggering uncertainty for customers and a huge effort to get people already on holiday back to the UK.

Monarch employs around 2,750 UK-based staff.

The company was founded in 1968 and was the UK's fifth-largest airline.


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.


Police release CCTV of casino gunman

The man armed with what appears to be a handgun Credit: Bedfordshire Police

Detectives in Luton have released CCTV images of a man who raided a casino in the town.

The lone raider entered the Genting Casino on Skimpot Road at 5am on Thursday 17 August.

He produced what's thought to be a handgun and forced staff to hand over cash. He left the casino and headed off in the direction of Craddock Road.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 or call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

The raider struck at about 5am Credit: Bedfordshire Police

M1 delays after a crash between car and lorry

Traffic congestion on the M1 in Bedfordshire after a crash between a car and a lorry. Credit: Highways England Traffic Camera

There is very slow traffic on the M1 in Bedfordshire after a crash involving a car and a lorry.

One lane is closed northbound at Junction 12 for Flitwick A5120 / B5120 and there is congestion to Junction 11 A505 Dunstable Road / B579 Dunstable Road.

It is not if anyone has been hurt in the incident.

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