Monarch Holidays

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Monarch Holidays
Wholly owned subsidiary
Industry Travel
Founded 1961
Headquarters Bromley, United Kingdom
Key people
Richard Francis (Managing Director)[1]
Services Package holidays, flights and accommodation
Parent Monarch Holdings Ltd

Monarch Holidays (formerly Cosmos Holidays) is a UK independent tour operator, which provides package holidays, flight-only and accommodation products to UK customers. The tour operator is an owned subsidiary of Monarch Holdings Ltd, formerly owned by Globus Travel Group, it was sold to Greybull Capital in October 2014.[2] Cosmos Holidays was originally founded in 1961 as Cosmos Tours. In later became Cosmos Holidays in 1987.

Cosmos Holidays had been in operation for over 50 years, and provides a choice of holidays from ten UK airports to 60 worldwide destinations. Annually 850,000 return passengers within the mass market sector buy a holiday from Cosmos Holidays and Monarch's holiday brands.[3] The company was renamed Monarch Holidays in 2015.


The tour operator is an owned subsidiary of Monarch Holdings Ltd, formerly owned by Globus Travel Group, and sold to Greybull Capital in October 2014.[2] The group has a number of other subsidiaries including Monarch Airlines, Monarch Aircraft Engineering, Avro and somewhere2stay. Monarch Holdings was 100%-owned by the Globus Travel Group.


Monarch Holidays provides packages to over 60+ countries, flying from five UK airports. Over 900,000 customers use their services annually.[4]

The holiday provider originally started providing beach holiday deals for UK consumers to European destinations. The company still has a major presence in Europe, but has expanded in recent years to offer global destinations, including the Caribbean, Egypt, Florida, Goa, Lapland, the Maldives, Mexico and Sri Lanka.[4]


Cosmos Tours (1961–1986)[edit]

Globus, a group that was originally established in 1928, launched Cosmos Tours in 1961. The package company was created to provide value-priced European touring for the cost-conscious British traveller. The company initially focused on coach tours, before beginning to offer air holiday packages.[5] In 1968, the success of the company's air package holidays allowed Cosmos to form the airline Monarch Airlines.[6][7]

Expansion (1987–2009)[edit]

In 1987 the company changed their name from Cosmos Tours to Cosmos Holidays. In September 1991, the company acquired Avro Plc a flight only company set up by Paul Dendle, he sold 80% to the Globus group (Swiss based company owned by the Mantagazza family of Lugarno) that owned Monarch & Cosmos, This acquisition was an attempt to enhance its charter seat-only presence in the 1994 the Globus group acquired the remaining 20% from Paul Dendle.

In 2002, Cosmos launched an accommodation-only brand, somewhere2stay, which supplied hotel, apartment and villa accommodation to the UK travel trade. Four years after launching somewhere2stay, sales made up £20 million–£40 million of an estimated £300 million–£350 million turnover in the accommodation-only sector. During 2006 the decision was made to run somewhere2stay separately from Cosmos Holidays.[8]

In 2007, Cosmos announced they would introduce package holidays with Monarch’s full range of scheduled flights. This was in line with expansion plans announced by Monarch during the same year.[9] In 2009, the company was regarded as the UK’s largest independent tour operator. In the same year, the company announced it would be migrating its critical Tour Operation System to a Linux operating system using Micro Focus Server Express and Micro Focus Server for COBOL.[10] Later that year Cosmos Holidays received the award for best Short-Haul Operator from the Travel Trade Gazette (TTG).[11]

Executive chairman Iain Rawlinson announced in 2009 he was planning to reinvent the company as a scheduled carrier, after the company made financial losses. It was predicted at the time that the parent company of Cosmos Holidays would make a loss of around £45 million. During the same year, media coverage had suggested there were problems with their approach.[12] The Mantegazza family from Switzerland, which had owned Group Voyagers since its foundation, invested money into the group to cover the losses.[13]

Recent history (2010–2015)[edit]

In 2011, Cosmos celebrated its 50th anniversary in the travel industry. The company used the celebration to launch new marketing material and refresh the brand with a new look. This marketing campaign included doubling the number of brochures being sent to agents for the post-Christmas booking season.[14]

As part of the company’s anniversary, they also announced their largest number of Greek holidays with a wider range of destinations in the Ionian, Sporades, Dodecanese and the Cyclades islands.[15] There was further expansion during the same year when Cosmos announced expansion of its Florida summer holiday packages, offering departures from five UK airports.[16] The company’s third expansion in the same year came when Holidays 4U collapsed and Cosmos added extra flights to cover customer demand.[17]

In 2012, Cosmos added flights from Manchester, Birmingham and East Midlands airports as part of sister company Monarch’s expansion.[18] In April 2013, Cosmos Holidays and Avro Flights launched a range of holidays and flights from Glasgow to the Balearic island of Mallorca on peak season summer dates to meet the extra demand for regional flying.[19]

In September 2013, the company announced that they would further expand their operations by diversifying away from beach holidays that they had traditionally offered. These destinations included Munich, Friedrichshafen, Grenoble and Innsbruck, a ski programme was introduce to support these routes. Cosmos also planned to offer short breaks to Rome, Milan, Verona and Venice using Monarch flights.[20]

In 2014, Monarch Travel Group, Cosmos Holidays parent company, was sold to Greybull Capital. From October 2015, Cosmos was renamed Monarch Holidays.[21]


Travel Trade Gazette - Short-Haul Operator (2007)[11]


  1. ^ "Key Personnel". Monarch. Retrieved 16 April 2015. 
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^ "Group | Corporate | About Us". Monarch. Retrieved 2012-10-20. 
  4. ^ a b "Destinations". Cosmos Holidays. Retrieved 12 September 2013. 
  5. ^ Collective Sessions. "Globus family of brands Offers Budget as well as Premium Tours". Group Voyagers. Retrieved 2012-10-20. 
  6. ^ "World Airline Directory 1968". Flight International. March 1968. 
  7. ^ "The 40-year-old start-up – Monarch Airlines", Maslen, R. in Airliner World July 2008, Key Publishing, Stamford, 2008, p. 32
  8. ^ "Cosmos to run Somewhere2stay as separate business". Travel Weekly. Retrieved 12 September 2013. 
  9. ^ "Monarch unveils 2007 expansion plans". TravelMole. Retrieved 12 September 2013. 
  10. ^ "Cosmos Holidays cuts it costs by 40% with Micro Focus Server Express". Business Standard. Retrieved 12 September 2013. 
  11. ^ a b "2008 News Archive - Holidays - Cosmos wins top travel award | Holidays News". Cosmos. Retrieved 2012-10-20. 
  12. ^ "Lack of retail shops remains Achilles' heel for Cosmos". Travolution. Retrieved 12 September 2013. 
  13. ^ Ben Marlow (2011-10-30). "Swiss billionaires bail out ailing Monarch - again". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 2012-10-20. 
  14. ^ Griffiths, Sophie (2011-12-15). "Cosmos plans a ‘total refresh’ before 2012 | News | Travel Trade Gazette". Retrieved 2012-10-20. 
  15. ^ "2011 News - Holidays - Cosmos launches biggest ever Greece Holidays programme | Holidays News". Cosmos. 2011-11-30. Retrieved 2012-10-20. 
  16. ^ "Orlando’s back from Cardiff". Cardiff Airport. Retrieved 12 September 2013. 
  17. ^ "Cosmos adds Turkey flights following Holidays 4 U collapse". TTG Digitial. Retrieved 12 September 2013. 
  18. ^ "Monarch Airlines launch new scheduled flights from Leeds Bradford International Airport". Leeds Bradford Airport. Retrieved 12 September 2013. 
  19. ^ "Cosmos & Avro expand Glasgow departures for peak summer season". Travel Bulletin. Retrieved 12 September 2013. 
  20. ^ "Cosmos to move beyond beach holidays". TravelMole. Retrieved 12 September 2013. 
  21. ^

External links[edit]