4 JUNE 2012
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Please forgive the pun but Monarch Airlines, which itself goes back to 1967, has produced what it calls a ‘Jubilee infographic’. It takes you through a journey over the last 60 years of air travel, and illustrates Monarch’s (the airline) own progress over the years, parallel with that of the industry.
The years in which the Queen has been on the throne have been the most important years in air travel.
1952, the year the Queen ascended the throne was also the year of the world’s maiden jet airliner passenger service. Monarch Airlines' first aircraft was a Bristol Britannia 175 turboprop. By 1988 the airline was carrying around 2.5m, all charter. By 2011, this number had increased to 6m, mainly scheduled.
In 1971 the first pure jet, a Boeing 720 (707 variant) arrived, followed by the BAC 1-11 in 1974. From 1988 to 1997 the Boeing 737 was the mainstay of the fleet, replaced by Airbus 320 series. What the future holds for the long-haul Boeing 757 fleet after 2014 remains to be seen.
The infographic throws in a few surprises too, such as the changes in speed of travel, the cost of travel, and the Monarchy’s air travel spend for 2011!
Today the airline operates scheduled flights to destinations in the Mediterranean, Canary Islands, Cyprus, Egypt, Greece and Turkey. Originally the airline headquarters were in former RAF buildings at Luton Airport, but today staff have been settled in a purpose-built facility quietly out of the way on the site. It has further bases at Birmingham, Gatwick and Manchester and is the oldest UK airline that has not changed its original name. It employs around 2,000 staff. www.monarch.co.uk
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