The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) can today confirm that all ATOL accredited bodies have signed up to new financial arrangements, which will better protect independent travel firms and provide increased benefits to consumers.
As of Thursday May 1, seven accredited bodies had signed trust deeds with the CAA.
The other accredited body, The Freedom Travel Group Ltd, has put in place alternative arrangements, which the CAA is satisfied will provide equivalent protection, as that of the trust accounts.
Head of ATOL at the CAA, Andy Cohen, said: “These new arrangements should all be fully operational over the next few weeks and will help better protect the financial interests of more than 1,100 independent travel companies, which operate as part of an accredited body.
“This has been a complex exercise and I would like to pay credit to all the accredited bodies for working hard with the CAA to achieve this significant milestone.”
Travel Counsellors Ltd and Advantage Travel Centres Ltd, already have trust accounts in place as part of their accredited body business model, and will be joined by Barrhead Travel Services Ltd, Broadway Travel Services (Wimbledon) Ltd, Global Travel Group Ltd, Hays Travel Ltd and The Mid-Counties Co-operative Ltd.
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Notes to Editors
All accredited bodies must have a CAA-approved trust account or equivalent protection. The Air Travel Trust will become party to the trust account.
The eight UK accredited bodies are: Advantage Travel Centres Ltd, Barrhead Travel Services Lt, Broadway Travel Services (Wimbledon) Ltd, The Freedom Travel Group Ltd, Global Travel Group Ltd, Hays Travel Ltd, The Mid-Counties Co-operative Ltd and Travel Counsellors Ltd.
Trust accounts will help ensure those independent travel firms, who are members of an accredited body, can continue trading even if the accredited body collapses or falls into financial difficulty.
Furthermore, in the event of an accredited body failure, trust accounts will offer increased benefits to UK holidaymakers who have booked ATOL protected holidays with an accredited body member.
The CAA is the UK's specialist aviation regulator. Its regulatory activities range from making sure that the aviation industry meets the highest technical and operational safety standards to preventing holidaymakers from being stranded abroad or losing money because of tour operator insolvency.