New aviation bill opens potential airline ATOL inclusion


Holidays sold by airlines or arranged as an agent acting on behalf of consumer could be included in the ATOL scheme, a government bill has revealed. 


The Civil Aviation Bill has been introduced by the government following a consultation period and draft bill in November and would provide more clarity for consumers if put into place. 


“The consultation included proposals that would require new primary legislation to help bring greater clarity and coherence to holiday protection,” said Theresa Villiers, Minister of State for Transport in a statement. “The Government’s intention is that such a step [including airlines and ‘agents for consumers’] would only be taken following full consultation with stakeholders including an impact assessment”. 


The government is due to make a further statement on ATOL reform proposals soon. ABTA welcomed the announcement but urged the government to act quickly so protection is clear. 


“This is a major step forward. We now look forward to the government making an explicit commitment to this; the Department for Transport directly addressed the question of holidays sold by airlines during its summer consultation and the case for inclusion was emphatically made by ABTA and other respondents. A further consultation on this matter is unnecessary,” said Mark Tanzer, chief executive of ABTA. 


“With the Flight Plus legislation coming into effect in April we would urge the Government to act at the earliest opportunity to avoid further confusion for consumers and a lack of a level playing field within the industry,” he added.

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