Abta calls for Atol reform postponement

Abta calls for Atol reform postponement

Travel association Abta has called for the government to postpone reform of the Atol system and launch of the new Flight-Plus licence for retailers until next April or beyond.

Abta head of financial protection John de Vial urged the Department for Transport (DfT) to drop its planned launch date of January 1 in a webinar debate today with the government’s head of aviation policy implementation, Kate Jennings.

De Vial said: “The timescale is a fundamental concern. This needs to be put back to April 1 or thereafter.”

The DfT is currently consulting the industry on its Flight-Plus plans along with proposals for a new Atol Certificate and raft of other measures to extend consumer financial protection.

De Vial said: “We understand there will be a [further] six-week consultation that will take us into the middle, if not through, November. We could end up with a three-week window in December for implementation. We have fundamental concerns about the timescale.”

Jennings told him: “At the moment, ministers are committed to January 1.” However, she said: “Ministers will look at evidence for any concerns.”

David Moesli, deputy director of consumer protection at the Civil Aviation Authority, insisted the process could move swiftly once the DfT makes a final decision. He said: “The important milestone is the government decision. We expect it in early autumn. We will then consult on the terms and move swiftly on that. We are gearing up to talk to potential licence holders.


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