Abta17: Iglu chief demands repatriation be ‘removed from Atol’

Abta17: Iglu chief demands repatriation be ‘removed from Atol’

Iglu.com chief executive Richard Downs echoed Abta’s demand for an levy on all UK flights to fund passengers’ repatriation, arguing: “The current regulation is not working.

Downs, an Abta board member, called for the repatriation of customers of failed airlines to be removed from the Atol scheme.

He told The Travel Convention in the Azores: “I’m sure the government isn’t happy with the bill [from the Monarch repatriation].

“It [the current system] doesn’t work for consumers and it doesn’t work for us in the industry.

“Having customers left overseas is the one thing the government is exercised about.

“We need to separate repatriation risk from package travel risk. All the stakeholders as an industry should create a fighting fund.”

He pointed out: “The government brought in a banking levy to address a future banking crisis.

“There are 250 million flight [passengers] in the UK [in a single year]. With a 50p levy for repatriation [on all flights] we could very quickly build a sufficient fund and get ahead of the problem.

“Let’s take out repatriation from package protection. Bringing people back [to Britain] is the biggest risk.”

Asked whether the fact that the Monarch collapse occurred at the start of the Tory Party conference may have persuaded the government to repatriate all passengers, Downs said:

“I’m guessing there is probably no good time to have people stranded overseas. We don’t want people stranded.”

Travel Weekly’s full coverage of The Travel Convention

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