ABTA welcomes moves to extend financial protection, but more work is required to ensure proposals are “workable and affordable”
ABTA today provides its initial response to the Department for Transport’s proposals for reform of the Air Travel Organisers’ License (ATOL) financial protection scheme for flight-based package holidays, unveiled this morning.
ABTA welcomes the Government’s moves to extend financial protection and notes these proposals as a “first step” on the road to more extensive reform. ABTA further welcomes the Government’s recognition that inclusion of airlines in the scheme would “provide complete clarity for consumers” and that it will consider primary legislation to effect this. ABTA believes that there will be no comprehensive solution until all airlines protect their flights against insolvency risk.
The proposals cover a range of other matters in further detail. ABTA intends to carefully review these proposals and consult with its Members during the 12 week consultation period.
ABTA Chief Executive, Mark Tanzer, said: "I am pleased that some of the detail behind the proposals is now available for scrutiny however I am still concerned that the exclusion of airlines and the lack of clarity around click-through arrangements will leave many consumers unprotected, and will distort competition in the market. It's encouraging that the consultation explicitly acknowledges this as an issue, and it's critical that the consultation process results in a Government commitment to bringing airlines into scope.
We will have to work through the detail of the proposals with our Members, and make sure that what emerges is practical and fair. ABTA has long advocated the broadening of consumer protection, but much work remains to be done before we can endorse the proposals as a workable and affordable solution."