As Lithuanian Airlines - flyLAL - ceased to trade on Saturday 17 January 2009, the gaps in the current financial protection system for airline passengers have again been highlighted.
Passengers who were booked with flyLAL will be fully protected if they booked their flights as part of a package holiday. However, other customers may or may not get their money back as the airline has stated that it is unable to provide refunds.
For many years ABTA has been calling on the Government to require all airlines to provide financial protection for their customers. If travellers book airline seats through an ABTA Member, they can either buy them as part of a package holiday, which would protect them through the Package Travel Regulations, or they could buy a scheduled airline failure insurance policy such as ABTA Protection Plan. Many flyLAL customers will not be protected in this way and have no guarantee of a refund.
“This failure in a tough economic climate, along with numerous other airline failures who failed last year, highlights the importance of having financial protection in place when you book flights,” said Mark Tanzer, ABTA Chief Executive. “ABTA Members can offer the maximum amount of protection. Just ask.”
ABTA understands that flyLAL provided services to Vilnius from Gatwick.