Why is Monarch using wet leased aircraft?

Airbus A320 aircraft

As you may have seen in press articles and in our advertising, Monarch is expanding quickly this year to offer a greater range of flights for you to choose from.

While we are introducing new services, we are temporarily using aircraft operated by other airlines. One of the regulations we have to meet in these circumstances is that the aircraft are operated using these airlines’ own pilots and crew – in airline industry terms this is called ‘wet leasing’.

Wet leasing aircraft is common practise in the airline industry, particularly when an airline needs to obtain aircraft very quickly and on a short-term basis. Wet leases are often used to introduce new routes or supplement an existing fleet during peak season, such as we are doing at the moment.

Please be assured that safety is our Monarch’s first priority and we would never compromise upon this. Monarch has carefully selected four airlines to operate this contract and the requirements routinely stipulated by the UK Civil Aviation Authority have been met.

Boeing 737 final approach

We are now busy acquiring new aircraft and recruiting cabin crew and pilots so that we can provide the full Monarch Airlines service on our own aircraft as quickly as possible. In the meantime, if you are flying on a new route where we are operating wet leased aircraft, the flight number will remain the same, you may notice some differences from a normal Monarch Airlines flight.

As the cabin crew are employed by the airline which operates the aircraft, they will not be wearing a Monarch Airlines uniform and the appearance of the cabin will be different. There may also be some changes to the service we are able to offer you, for example extra leg room seats may differ. The same pre-ordered food will still be available and you will be able to purchase snacks and drinks onboard, however tax free products will not be available. If you have ordered any of our additional services, we will be in touch before your flight to explain the options that we are able to offer you.

If your flight is to be operated by an alternative carrier, we will advise you in advance if possible, then again at check-in and as you board, as explained in our Terms and Conditions (paragraph nine).

Please bear with us during the short period we are using alternative aircraft. We look forward to welcoming you on board one of our own Monarch Airlines aircraft soon.

For further information see our FAQ.

For further information on wet leasing, please visit the CAA website.

If you’d like to know more about specific flights operated on wet lease aircraft, please don’t hesitate to contact us with your flight number and date of travel. 

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About the Author:

Catrionna is the social media & content manager for Monarch Airlines and an editor of the Monarch blog. A keen traveller, she loves exploring destinations on the Monarch scheduled network and especially loves Spain and Italy.

10 Comments + Add Comment

  • I posted a question last Friday asking whether my flights ZB428 on 21.01.13 and ZB429 on 04.02.13 will be on wet leased aircraft. My question has been taken off the blog and you have not replied.

    Please will you give me an answer?

    I have copied below your words from the top of your blog to show this is a question you have to answer.

    “If you’d like to know more about specific flights operated on wet lease aircraft, please don’t hesitate to contact us with your flight number and date of travel.”

    • Hi Anne, the wet lease programme ceased at the end of October and we will be operating future flights on Monarch aircraft from East Midlands airport. I hope this answers your question but please don’t hesitate to write again if you need any clarification.

  • We have booked flights with Monarch (details below). Please can you confirm that they will be on proper, modern, Monarch airplanes with Monarch crew and staff, and NOT be dry, damp or wet leased?

    Flight ZB428, Birmingham to Gran Canaria, Monday 21 Jan 2013, dep. 12:20 arr. 16:50
    Flight ZB429, Gran Canaria to Birmingham, Monday 04 Feb 2013, dep. 17:50 arr. 22:15

    Thank you, David Lindsley & Anne Haydock.

    • Hi David & Anne, I have referred your question to our social media team in the customer services department, so you’ll receive a reply by email. Thanks for your post

  • Based on my experience flying Birmingham to Malage on Friday 7th Sep, I can not imagine ever choosing to fly Monarch again.

    That we have just received an email saying that our flight on 14th will not be a Monarch plane either, is very distressing. Our experience last Friday was dreadful, and the lack of response to my email expressing concern at the cattle-truck like cabin and other safety (other than an acknowledgement) has further alarmed me.

    I expected more from Monarch than one ofnth cheap airlines, and was badly disappointed.

    • Hi Lyndsay, I’m sorry you were disappointed by your flight and I have passed on your comments to the team. The email acknowledgement is to let you know that we have received your message and we’re working on it, as well as to let you know how long it may take to get a full and considered reply. I would like to reassure you that the aircraft we are wet leasing are operated according to strict CAA regulations. The wet lease programme will run till the end of summer and Monarch aircraft will operate these routes in the new season. I hope this clarifies things for you but please don’t hesitate to contact our customer relations team if you’d like to comment in more detail: customer.relations@monarch.co.uk.

      • Hi. Please can you confirm when summer
        ends? Or do you mean summer next year?

        • Hi there, by summer we generally mean the end of October. Thanks

  • You mention if we are on a new route the flight numbers will be the same, however we are on an historic route and the flight number is the same, your words imply that this ‘wet’ issue is with new routes and i beg to differ. Plenty of forums and review sites are full of disgruntled flyers who have been experiencing this reduced level of service for a long time.
    It doesnt appear to be of benefit to the flyer but purely a way for monarch to save money.
    I for one will never ever use monarch again, i regularly fly with ryanair and thought i would try a different airline, what i thought would be an upgraded service, however in over 200 flights i have never experienced this ridiculous event before
    I would be interered to see figures relating to each airlines use of this practice as a ratio to how many flights they operate, perhaps you would be kind enough to publish this data

    • Hi Sid, the wet leases are for the new routes but we do occasionally need to charter an aircraft to operate a flight. This is usually in reaction to a problem in the fleet and again, this is common practise within the industry, to ensure that the flight is able to operate rather than being cancelled and inconveniencing customers. I can assure you this is not a money making or money saving exercise but made out of necessity and with our customers’ best interests in mind. Regarding your question about how other airlines manage their fleets, we are not able to comment on this as we are not able to collect data of this nature. I hope this helps?

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