One of my colleagues (well used to landing in BHX himself) was positioning back from NCE to BHX on that very flight, and told me the following:
- the approach was stable, although it looked a bit fast over the threshold
- long flare, touchdown abeam the fire station
- he expected quite a bit of reverse... which didn't come (autobrake only)
- as the aircraft neared the end of the runway, it started a turn but a vibration was felt (which he suspects may have been the nosewheel skidding on the wet runway)
- he then saw grass under the wings, and the 737 came to a stop
- only then were flaps retracted and APU started
The ambiance inside was reminiscent of a country fair! So much for Daily Mail
tales of "terrified passengers"...
As far as the operator is concerned, some comments on this thread are borderline xenophobic and only serve to show some posters' ignorance about commercial aviation beyond their own borders. Why would Aurela be usafe just because they're from Lithuania? Are only UK AOC airlines safe then? The Cold War mentality is still alive and well apparently... My mate is a frequent flyer on this route, familiar with NCE approaches (where he is based), and told me, some time before the incident, that he was often impressed by how precisely Aurela crews would obviously hand-fly the VOR A 04L or visual 04L approach in NCE - not always the most straightforward of approaches.
This is not to say that regulatory supervision was up to scratch; it may well not have been - although there is no reason why flying a 24-year old 737-300 is any less safe than on Monarch's own 757s or A300-600Rs of roughly the same vintage.
As far as subcontracting goes, I'm sure Monarch did their homework as is mandatory. A few years ago, my outfit temporarily used an LY-reg freighter on one of our routes, and one of our captains jumpseated on a number of sectors to observe their operation, SOPs etc. before giving the go-ahead.
Regarding mentioning the actual operator on the booking, it's only fair (when not only to cover last-minute AOG) and I notice most legacy airlines on which I fly (AF, KLM, LH, LOT) do so on the boarding pass even when the flight is operated by a subsidiary.