Abta welcomed publication of the Department for Transport (DfT) consultation on Atol reform today, but said more work was needed before it could endorse the proposals.

Association chief executive Mark Tanzer said: “I’m concerned that the exclusion of airlines and the lack of clarity around click-through arrangements will leave many consumers unprotected and distort competition in the market.

“We will have to work through the details of the proposals with members and make sure that what emerges is practical and fair. Much work remains to be done before we can endorse the proposals as a workable and affordable solution.”

That view may surprise the DfT and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) which regulates consumer protection as Abta played a significant role in drafting the original proposals for a Flight Plus Atol to cover retailers.

The CAA welcomed publication of the consultation document, with chair Dame Deirdre Hutton saying: “The reform proposals they will bring clarity for consumers and put an end to the situation where people are left unsure to what extent their holidays are protected if their company fails.

“This is the first step in the reform of consumer financial protection and the CAA will be consulting on further proposals on the funding of protection in the autumn.”