More than 20,000 coming home in first two days after Monarch collapse

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The Government has described the operation to bring holidaymakers home as the UK’s biggest peacetime repatriation.

The repatriation of tens of thousands of Monarch customers has “started well”, the chair of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has said.

Dame Deirdre Hutton told Sky News that 12,000 passengers had been brought home on Monday on the first day of the operation as the airline collapsed into administration.

A further 12,000 were expected to come back to the UK on Tuesday, which will leave 86,000 still to return.

The collapse of Britain’s fifth biggest airline on Monday morning left 110,000 holidaymakers who had planned to return on Monarch flights potentially stranded abroad.

But the CAA has launched an operation to bring all of them home, including some who were not covered by the industry’s ATOL (Air Travel Organiser’s Licence) guarantee scheme – reportedly at a cost of up to £60m to the Government.

It is the UK’s “biggest peacetime repatriation”, according to the Government.

Meanwhile 750,000 people with future bookings who were yet to travel have had their trips cancelled – unless they are able to find an alternative.

Many have complained of having to pay much more for other flights and that plans including honeymoons and weddings have been jeopardised.

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