Monarch Airlines (London-Luton) has announced the retirement of its last Airbus A300 with a special “retirement flight”. The company issued this statement:
Monarch Airlines is pleased to announce details of the very last commercial flight service on its long serving Airbus A300B4-605R. The type has been in service with the airline since 1990, and has carried more than 20 million holiday makers while in Monarch colors.
The final A300 airframe in the fleet, G-OJMR (msn 605), will be retiring on Sunday, April 13, 2014, having served the airline for 23 years after being delivered new 1991. In a fitting end to this aircraft’s service, the final flight will be piloted by the Chief Pilot of Monarch Airlines, Martin Pound. Martin has served Monarch for over 36 years and in 1991, was the pilot charged with flying the first A300 into service.
Monarch’s A300s are the final passenger-carrying examples in service with a European airline, and with its impending retirement from service, the passenger variant of Airbus’ first entry in to the commercial airliner market, will become a very rare sight in European skies. To celebrate the life of this workhorse of the airline industry, Monarch will be giving enthusiasts one last chance to book on the aircraft by opening up the last commercial flight from London’s Gatwick Airport to Birmingham.
On Sunday April 13, 2014, this special Monarch flight ZB300 will depart Gatwick Airport’s South Terminal at 2.40 pm (1440), for a leisurely flight to Birmingham International Airport, arriving at 3.40 pm (1540).
The aircraft, in 347-seat configuration, will be sold to capacity, with seats bookable via the Monarch website, www.monarch.co.uk
Seats on the flight will be priced at £74 per person, inclusive of airport taxes and charges.
Customers can select a seat at the point of purchase, or afterwards if you choose, subject to availability. Seating will be priced as follows ;
Window Seats: £25 per person
Aisle Seats in window row: £15 per person
Middle Seats in window row: £11 per person
Aisle Seats in middle row: £5 per person
Middle Seats in middle row: £1 per person
This flight will operate as a hand luggage only flight and normal hand luggage restrictions will apply.
Refunds will not be offered to passengers booking window seats if the weather is inclement, or if visibility is poor.
If passengers choose not to reserve a specific seat, one will be allocated free of charge at check-in on the day of the flight.
Booking fees will apply to bookings made with a credit card.
Note to all airlines: As Delta Air Lines discovered last night with the retirement of the last Douglas DC-9, there is a sizable market of eager and enthusiast customers wanting to ride on the last revenue flight of a retiring aircraft type. Many airlines are now discovering this new revenue source.
Update: Monarch confirmed flight ZB 300 from London Gatwick to Birmingham was the last official ZB Airbus A300 flight on April 13.
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A300B4-605R G-OJMR (msn 605) taxies past the camera at Palma de Mallorca on a holiday flight.