Doubling marketing spend and quadrupling its holiday division are integral to the new vision for the Monarch Group, according to its boss.
Chief executive Andrew Swaffield addressed the Abta Travel Convention in Abu Dhabi today after it was announced this morning that the firm has secured £165 million in investment from majority shareholders Greybull Capital.
He had been due to take part in a panel discussion on Tuesday, but was unable to make it.
“I wanted to come here today to express my thanks to the UK travel trade for its support of Monarch,” he told delegates.
Speaking after the event, Swaffield told the media that this year had been the most challenging of his career.
He said that while the carrier had seen a double-digit decline in sales for its Holidays division in the last fortnight as speculation about the business’s future circulated, today sales levels had recovered to those of two weeks ago.
“It has been unwelcome but not hugely damaging,” Swaffield said.
Asked how Monarch will differentiate itself from other carriers going forward, Swaffield outlined three main pillars.
He said: “Holidays are becoming an increasingly important part of our commercial strategy.
“We expect to dramatically increase the number of seats sold through Monarch Holidays and we have put a big investment into the trade portal for that.”
He said he expects Monarch Holidays to see a “four or five-fold” increase in the next five or six years.
“Increasing marketing spend will be another key element. Traditionally our marketing spend has been half the proportion of revenue of our peers, but we are going to match that now.”
He continued: “There’s a difference between what you can expect from Monarch and what you can expect from some others. If you travel with Monarch you will receive warmth from our people.”
Swaffield said the new cash injection was built around a six-year business plan and that consumers could be confident Monarch will not need to negotiate the renewal of its Atol licence in the same way next year.