ABTA has responded to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) consultation on increasing the ATOL passenger contribution (APC) levy with a call for an extension to the scope of the ATOL scheme to provide financial protection to more holidaymakers.
ABTA believes that the focus of the consultation should be widened to consider a proposal on simplifying and extending financial protection which has already been submitted by ABTA to both the CAA and the Government. If the proposal were to be given the green light, any customer buying a flight plus accommodation would benefit from financial protection, not just those on package holidays.
Recognising that some increase in the amount of the APC may be necessary as a result of recent failures, ABTA is also suggesting that it would be more appropriate to wait for a clearer indication of the real cost of the XL failure to determine the additional funds that need to be raised to build up the Air Travel Trust Fund. Claimants have up until September 2009 - one year after the XL failure - to submit their claim forms and ABTA believes that the CAA should delay any increase in the APC until the actual cost of the XL failure is known.
Commenting on the consultation, Mark Tanzer said: “This consultation process is a much-needed opportunity for the trade to make its views known and we would urge both CAA and the Government to simplify and widen consumer protection. This would benefit both the industry and their customers for whom the present system is confusing and full of holes.”
In response to the CAA Consultation, ABTA has proposed to widen the scope of financial protection, the key points of which are: