“The boss of Monarch was setting-up his own firm as the stricken airline was going to the wall, it has emerged.
Andrew Swaffield insisted he was “heart broken” by the firm’s collapse, with the loss of more than 1,800 jobs. Yet as Monarch was for fighting for survival, polo playing Mr Swaffield found time to get a new firm for himself off the ground.
Records show electronic paperwork to establish Alcedo Consulting Services was received by Companies House last Friday. The two directors are Mr Swaffield and his partner William Low, 51. The company was formally incorporated on Monday – the same day Monarch plunged into administration.
Stefan Stern, director of the High Pay Centre, branded the timing “shocking”. He said: “He appears to have been planning his escape route before the passengers or crew. “It used to be women and children first, now it seems to be chief executive first. “It’s such bad taste and, frankly, stupid, to do this now.”
The firm is named after Mr Swaffield’s polo team, Alcedo, which recently won several trophies at the Cowdray Park Polo Club in West Sussex.
In a message seen by the Mirror, he insisted Monday’s collapse of Monarch was “the hardest day of my entire career. “Seeing the end of the company and 1,800 people losinzg their jobs has been heart breaking.’
Mr Swaffield previously ran a consultancy firm, CST Consulting, after losing his job at British Airways in 2005. He said: “I have done the same again today knowing that I am leaving, so that I can start the process of planning my future and if I manage to secure any work I will have a company through which to process it. “It can take up to a year to secure chief executive level roles and consulting is a good stop gap.”
Records show Mr Swaffield became chief executive of another company, Shelfco 2017, that was set-up on September 25. The other directors include Nils Christy, Monarch’s chief operating officer, and Christopher Bennett, its finance director. It is registered at Monarch’s Luton Airport headquarters.
It came as millions of holidaymakers and bank customers are set to pick-up the bill for Monarch’s rescue flights.”