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Court of Appeal allows Monarch Airlines’ slot allocation appeal


The Court of Appeal has today unanimously allowed an appeal by the Joint Administrators of Monarch Airlines against the Divisional Court’s refusal to grant its application for judicial review in relation to the allocation of slots at Gatwick and Luton Airports for the summer 2018 season. By way of relief, the Court has made a mandatory order requiring that the slots in question immediately be allocated to Monarch.

This is the first occasion on which the Court of Appeal has considered the duties of airport slot coordinators. The appeal was heard on a highly expedited basis following the delivery of the Divisional Court’s judgment last week. The Divisional Court had, following a two day hearing earlier this month, concluded that the UK airport coordinator, Airport Coordination Limited, was not under any duty to allocate to Monarch slots for the summer 2018 season.

In overturning the Divisional Court’s decision, Newey LJ (writing for the Court) accepted the Administrators’ contention 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.

The Judgment appears here.

Marie Demetriou QC and Malcolm Birdling appeared for the Joint Administrators of Monarch Airlines Ltd instructed by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP.