ABTA today welcomed the announcement by the Department for Transport (DfT) that it may extend the scope of its Draft Civil Aviation Bill to include reform of the ATOL scheme of financial protection.
The association’s chief executive, Mark Tanzer said; “We have long called for the inclusion of holiday sales by airlines within the scope of the ATOL scheme, to improve consumer financial protection and ensure a fair and workable solution for the industry. The government has stated that primary legislation is required to do this: today’s announcement is the first signal that they are listening to the consumer and commercial arguments. There is space within a draft Bill, and we now need a clear commitment from the DfT to bring holidays sold by airlines in. We are also encouraged that the Government has brought forward the timing of this draft Bill to early 2012.”
In the DfT policy document that accompanies the draft Bill, it was noted; “It is possible that the scope of the draft Bill may be extended before it is introduced. One area which could be included is the reform of the Air Travel Organisers’ Licence (ATOL), following the consultation recently concluded on measures which would modernise the scheme and better protect consumers in the 21st Century holiday market.”
The bill is expected to be introduced in early 2012.