Air Travel Trust fund returns to surplus

Date: 20 May 2013

The Air Travel Trust (ATT) has today published its annual report and financial statements for the year ended 31 March 2013, which reveal the fund has returned to surplus for the first time since 1996.

The report shows that the ATT received £48.1m in ATOL Protection Contributions (APC) from 19.2m passengers during 2012/2013, up from £42.6m from 17.3m passengers in the previous year. The report also shows there were only 11 ATOL failures during 2012/2013, representing an estimated cost to the ATT of £844,000. This was down from 23 failures in 2011/2012, at a cost of over £14m.

As a result, the ATT fund is now just over £18m in surplus – the first time the fund has been in surplus since 1996. This follows several years with few ATOL failures, and the implementation of key reforms to the ATOL scheme that has increased its coverage through the introduction of Flight-plus in April 2012.

Roger Mountford, Chair of the Air Travel Trust, said:

“The relatively low number of ATOL holder failures shows how well the travel industry performed last year, despite challenging financial circumstances. The industry also worked alongside the CAA to prepare for ATOL reform, which was essential to ensure the scheme reflected the changing way that people book holidays in the modern age.

“This more stable period for the industry has resulted in the ATT’s welcome return to surplus, and with Flight-plus successfully in place, consumers now enjoy greater protection for their holidays. The introduction of the ATOL certificate has also brought much-needed clarity to the scheme – making it easier than ever for people to know when they have protection.”

ATT report and financial statements – key figures at a glance
• Status of the ATT fund as of 31 March 2013: £18m in surplus
• Status of the ATT fund as of 31 March 2012: £18.5m in deficit
• Total amount received in ATOL Protection Contributions (APC): £48.1m
• Total protected passengers 2012/2013: 19.2m
• Number of ATOL holder failures: 11
• Number of protected passengers repatriated: 37
• Number of protected passengers entitled to a refund: 1,354
• Estimated cost of failures to the ATT: £844,000

The full Air Travel Trust annual report and financial statements for the year ended 31 March 2013 can be viewed at ATT Report 2013.

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Notes to Editors

1. The Air Travel Trust (ATT) is the first source of funding when an ATOL holder fails. It is administered on behalf of the ATT by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).
2. One of the CAA’s principal responsibilities is to manage the Air Travel Organisers’ Licensing (ATOL) scheme, which provides protection to holidaymakers from being stranded abroad or losing money when purchasing air holidays and flights from licensed tour operators. If an ATOL holder fails, the CAA is responsible for ensuring customers are either repatriated back to the UK or receive a refund of payments made.