Abta admits ‘a lot of members’ still working on implementing new Atol regulations

Abta admits ‘a lot of members’ still working on implementing new Atol regulations

Many agents and suppliers will still not be compliant with the new Flight-Plus Atol regulations when the grace period ends on June 1, Abta warned this week.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) declined to put a number on the firms likely to fall outside the rules from Friday, but Abta head of financial protection John de Vial said: “A lot of members are still working on implementation. There are a lot of concerns.”

Knock Travel owner Doreen McKenzie said: “Everyone seems to have a different interpretation of the rules. People are scared because of the short time to implement this. A month’s grace in peak-booking season is nothing.”

McKenzie told an Abta travel law seminar in London: “The bit I’m struggling with is the agency agreements. We’ve received agreements from just 25% of suppliers. Maybe the other 75% will be on my desk when I get back. I’ve yet to see one agreement from a web-based airline.”

She added: “There is a will to get this done, but it is a busy time.” Journey Latin America managing director Sarah Bradley agreed: “We want to implement it, but it is a struggle.”

De Vial said: “There are still people in wait-and-see mode and that is a worry for us.”

David Moesli, deputy director of the CAA consumer protection group, said: “Some companies have got moving on this. Some, quite frankly, are lagging.

“I can’t say I have much sympathy for people who have done nothing.”

Kate Jennings, head of aviation policy implementation at the Department for Transport, told the seminar: “Whatever deadline we gave, it was going to be difficult. At some point you have to say this is when we are going to draw a line.”

Moesli said: “If you give people three or four months, does it speed up the process?”

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