The vast majority of Monarch customers will not receive an automatic refund following the firm’s collapse, new figures show.
Administrators KPMG estimates that just 10-15 per cent of the 860,000 customers affected have bookings which are protected by the Air Travel Organiser’s Licence (Atol).
The scheme only covers package holidays or Monarch flight-only bookings made before December 15, meaning hundreds of thousands of people will be forced to seek refunds elsewhere.
Anyone who booked flights costing more than £100 using a credit card can claim a refund under the Consumer Credit Act, while those who bought cheaper flights or used a debit card can apply for a chargeback to get their money back.
Many travel insurance policies will not pay out in the event of an airline going bust but it is worth checking the detail of individual policies, the Civil Aviation Authority said.
More than 23,000 of the 110,000 Monarch customers abroad when the administration decision was announced on Monday were expected to have been repatriated by last night. They will all be flown home on as close to a normal schedule as possible at no extra cost until 15 October, according to the CAA.
Many travellers are in sunshine destinations in Spain and Portugal such as Costa del Sol, the Algarve and the Canary Islands. A further three-quarters of a million people who held future bookings with the firm have had their travel plans cancelled.
CAA chief executive Andrew Haines said: “We recognise that this will be a concerning time for many customers and we really appreciate their support.
“Given the unprecedented scale of this task, some disruption is inevitable. We thank everyone involved for their patience.”
Mr Haines said the CAA was notified by Monarch four-and-a-half weeks ago that “there were issues they were dealing with” and he understood that the firm’s board decided to go into administration close to midnight on Saturday.
Monarch was still advertising flights on its website on Sunday, meaning some passengers may have booked trips even after the company’s bosses decided it would stop trading.
Administrators KPMG said 1,858 of around 2,100 people employed across Monarch’s airline and tour group had been made redundant after the firm went bust.
Ninety-eight of those made redundant were employed by Monarch Travel Group, while 1,760 were employees of Monarch Airlines.
The remaining employees will help with the administration process, and assist the CAA in bringing holidaymakers abroad back to the UK, KPMG said.
Administrators are now considering breaking up the company, which was founded in 1967, as no buyer has been found to purchase Monarch in its entirety.
The group’s engineering operation, Monarch Aircraft Engineering Limited, is not in administration and continues to trade normally.
Meanwhile crisis-hit Ryanair has said 98 per cent of customers impacted by its flight cancellation fiasco in September and October have been refunded or transferred on to other flights or transport.
The airline said in a flight traffic update that the remaining 2 per cent of customers affected over the first two months of disruption have yet to contact the group.
Ryanair has been under heavy fire since it announced last month that 2,100 flights would be cancelled in September and October - up to 50 a day - due to an error over pilot holiday rosters.
It delivered a further blow last week when it said an extra 18,000 flights for the winter season were cancelled - a move that will hit 400,000 customers.
In its latest update, Ryanair apologised again for the disruption, which has ruined holiday plans for swathes of its customers.
Kenny Jacobs, chief marketing officer at Ryanair, said: “We have now refunded/re-accommodated 98% of customers who were impacted in September and October.
“The remaining 2% of affected customers have yet to contact us.
“We again sincerely apologise to our customers for these deeply regretted cancellations.”
The firm’s September traffic figures, which include the initial 2,100 cancellations announced, show passenger traffic grew 10% to 11.8 million.
Its load factor - a measure of how well it fills its planes - improved to 97% from 95% a year earlier.
The low-cost carrier was forced to email customers affected by flight cancellations over the weekend to clarify their rights after it was threatened with legal action.
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) had accused the Dublin-based group of “not complying with the law” over its handling of the cancellations.
It said Ryanair had not told passengers that under EU261 rules they were entitled to be re-routed by another carrier.
Ryanair has since informed passengers they can receive a refund or be transferred on to other flights or travel by trains, buses or car hire.
But passengers have expressed their frustration with the airline, with many left out of pocket due to a lack of alternative flights and accommodation bookings they can no longer use.