Norwegian eyes up Monarch, those RyanAir pilot holidays and why it’s all linked…

In an Irish Independent article today some serious credence is being given to rumours that Norwegian is looking to buy up Monarch. 

Monarch is in the process of another strategic review as we saw the other day. It’s only just freed itself from long haul but is finding short haul overly competitive. Secretive Greybull Capital are not a long term investment company and will be looking to sell it off for a profit at best, or to cover their costs at the least.

Now if Norwegian is under cash constraints as seems entirely feasible – £99 Edinburgh to Stewart New York is unsustainable for one – and is just a fraction of many cash grabbing but not profitable fares across the airlines business – how can it afford to buy Monarch?

Extrapolate that further and who has most to gain from the story? RyanAir is desperate to focus the glare of publicity elsewhere right now – it’s mammoth cock up over pilots holidays is set to cost it €30,000,000 in compensation never mind the loss of 50 flights a day. 

It loathes Norwegian, considering it financially wreckless, and animosity is further intensified by the fact that Norwegian is behind the problem with the pilots holidays! 

How you might ask? The answer is that RyanAir tried to pay its pilots £12,000 to buy them out of their holiday entitlements for this year, but the pilots felt exhausted and wanted the break, so said no. The reason the pilots were so much in need was because Norwegian has poached around 140 of RyanAir’s pilots and it hasn’t been able to fill the vacancies, having the least agreeable terms and conditions in the industry, as far as many pilots are concerned. 

Not that Michael O’Leary could ever be accused of taking anything personally or stirring up trouble of course.