ABTA welcomes government stance on financial protection reform

ATOL
A consultation took place with the industry

ABTA has welcomed the Department for Transport’s (DfT) work and viewpoint on ATOL and Package Travel Directive (PTD) reforms.

The association said it particularly agreed that the government’s stance that the future of ATOL should be aligned with the European-wide PTD to minimise disruption for the travel industry.

In a document released on Friday the government said its call for evidence into ATOL had illustrated “the range and complexity of the issues explored” and “while there was strong support for simplification of the current regimes, the best in which to achieve this is not clear cut”.

It went on to say that the government would await the outcome of the PTD before making final decisions on ATOL and would not make any changes in ATOL legislation until the directive is agreed. This is unlikely to be before spring 2015.

However the DfT also outlined areas that need ‘further work’ including repatriation; UK flight-only protection; cost benefits data; financial protection mechanisms and issues around implementation, legislation and enforcement.

ABTA’s statement read: “ABTA welcomes the extensive work that the government has undertaken to consider the responses received to their initial call for evidence. In particular, we agree that it is appropriate to align the future of ATOL with the ongoing revision of the Package Travel Directive (PTD) in Europe. This will minimise disruption to the industry and represents an efficient and sensible way to proceed.

“We recognise some of the challenges identified in the response, particularly around cross-border trading, enforcement and the challenge of ensuring that an eventual scheme is proportionate to risk, and affordable. However, as noted, the revision of the Package Travel Directive is currently being discussed in Europe; ABTA remains actively engaged in this process.

“ABTA will continue to work closely with the DfT, BIS and other stakeholders across Europe in order to supply the necessary data and feedback from the industry in order to continue to influence the process of reforming financial protection arrangements. We look forward to seeing the BiS response on the call for evidence on the Package Travel and assisted travel arrangements directive.”

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