Monarch wins airport slot sale appeal

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Nov 23, 2017
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Monarch went into administration last month

Dave Thompson/PA

Monarch has won an appeal allowing it to sell its remaining flight slots at two airports, in a ruling that will significantly benefit the bust airline’s creditors.

Administrators at KPMG, the “big four” accountancy practice, are aiming to raise capital by transferring slots at Gatwick and Luton airports to other airlines.

Sitting in the Court of Appeal, Lords Justice Floyd and Newey and Lady Justice Asplin unanimously overturned a ruling made by the High Court this month.

The court ordered that the slots be immediately allocated to Monarch.

Lawyers for the administrators, led by the City of London “magic circle” law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, said that the ruling was the first in which the Court of Appeal had considered the duties of airport slot co-ordinators.

In overturning the lower court’s decision, Lord Justice Newey accepted the administrator’s submission that, despite entering administration, Monarch retained its accrued right to be allocated the slots which it would then be able to exchange with other airlines for value for the benefit of its creditors.

“We are delighted with the ruling,” Blair Nimmo, a partner at KPMG and joint administrator, told Reuters. “We will now progress the slot exchange transactions we have underway, whose buyers will be announced at completion.”

Monarch collapsed at the beginning of last month. Airport Co-ordination, the company that organises slots, said that it would not appeal the ruling.

Freshfields instructed Marie Demetriou, QC, of Brick Court Chambers in the Temple, along with David Allison, QC, of South Square chambers in Gray’s Inn. The City law firm Bates Wells Braithwaite acted for Airport Co-ordination and instructed Michael Crane, QC, of Fountain Court Chambers in the Temple.

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