Monarch Airlines

Monarch 737

Operated from Apr 1968 to Oct 2017

Main Base – Luton

Founders/Directors – Mr B Hodgson, Mr D Peacock and Cosmos Tours

Monarch started out as a completely new airline under the stewardship of two, former British Eagle directors in June 1967. Inevitably, such new ventures required sufficient funding and thus Cosmos Tours were approached and subsequently agreed to contribute 80% of the costs. Operations then commenced in April of the following year with two Bristol Britannias which were put to work flying Cosmos I.T. charters across the Continent. More of the type were later added when British Eagle itself folded and by the end of 1969, eight aircraft were on the company’s books. By the early 1970s, Monarch had begun replacing their Britannias with Boeing 720s and these were subsequently used to fly both I.T. work for Cosmos and ad-hoc charter work for other third parties with most of these flights departing from either Birmingham or their home base at Luton.

Needless to say, Monarch would continue down the jet route adding BAC 1-11s to its fleet from 1975 onwards, after which it began replacing its 720s with the 737-200s at the beginning of the 1980s. It was these latter aircraft that eventually made their way to Southend during 1982 when Cosmos began to run I.T. charter flights from the airport. Three destinations were on offer – Gerona, Malta and Palma – all of which commenced from the late spring through until the autumnal turn down and that was the last that SEN would see of this particular airline. Otherwise, Monarch continued to operate, although the airline eventually moved away from the charters of the past and flew mostly scheduled, short-haul services to popular European destinations with their fleet of A320 and A321 aircraft. However on October 2nd 2017, Monarch collapsed and went into administration.


Monarch fleet during 1982

(Only those aircraft that were likely to have been seen at SEN are listed)

Boeing 737-200

G-BJSO – 12/81 to 5/84

Sold to Orion Airways

G-BMON – 10/80 to 4/88

Sold to TAP Air Portugal as CS-TEU

G-DFUB – 9/80 to 1/88

Sold to Air Atlantis as CS-TET

G-DGDP – 3/82 to 4/86

Sold to CP Air as C-FPWE

G-DWHH – 3/82 to 12/86

Sold to CP Air as C-FCPM


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