Travel Republic Atol will hasten 'decline of operators' says Pirie

Travel Republic Atol will hasten 'decline of operators' says Pirie

Travel Republic has confirmed it will offer consumer financial protection for flight-plus-hotel bookings under a Flight-Plus Atol licence, saying the move would "accelerate the decline of traditional tour operators"'

The online travel agent confirmed the move in a statement this morning, bringing an end to a period during which Travel Republic has frequently challenged the Atol scheme and at one point faced a Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) prosecution.

Chief executive Kane Pirie said: “The extension of ATOL protection will serve to accelerate the decline of traditional tour operators, who have nowhere to hide in justifying higher prices.”

A CAA spokesperson said: “We can confirm that Travel Republic holds an Atol licence, ensuring consumers are protected when they book air travel holidays.”

The Atol licenses Travel Republic to carry 126,722 Flight-Plus passengers in the three months to June and 208,323 during July-September.

Pirie said: “More than two million holidaymakers book our great-value deals and we are on track for another record year, with turnover to break £0.5 billion for the first time in 2012.”

In its statement, the company said: “Travel Republic has championed the customer and covered all bookings under its Total Financial Protection plan for many years.

“Travel Republic has now also elected to Atol protect flight + hotel bookings, regardless of flight type, which is far in excess of the current UK regulatory requirements.”

Chris Photi, senior partner at industry accountant White Hart Associates, said: “Travel Republic applying for and being granted an Atol reflects well on the company and the CAA.

“The court case has been set aside and both parties have worked together to obtain a consumer protection solution without either showing past prejudices to the other.”

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