An overhaul of consumer protection is “inevitable” following the Covid-19 crisis, according to the chief executive of and Jet2holidays.

Confirming that he would support a change to the current Atol system and revealing he was talking to the CAA and other organisations about an alternative, chief executive Steve Heapy said: “I think it’s inevitable that there will be an overhaul of the protection regime; an alternative to the Atol scheme.

“The CAA have talked about that already and done various discussion papers and I think change will happen.”

Speaking on a Travel Weekly webcast, Heapy said it was essential to avoid “another disaster that ruins the perception of how we [as an industry] deal with customers”.

“What an alternative will look like, I don’t know. Whether they just put a flat fee up or whether they do a scheme where customers’ money is ring-fenced until departure. Either would work,” he said.

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“There are pros and cons of either but at the end of the day, I think it’s important that customers are protected, and they feel protected because the last thing this industry needs is another disaster that ruins the perception of how we deal with customers.

“Customers have got to have confidence when they’re dealing with companies, because if they don’t, it’s not going to do any of us any good at all.

“I would support change, and we are talking to the CAA and other organisations as to what that might look like. We will be part of the solution, not part of the problem.”