Trade ATOL Licence

Application for a Trade only ATOL

Making an Application

Application Process

Please note that it is not possible to provide detailed information on the likely requirements for the grant of a licence, as each application is different. When an application is received, it is allocated to a case officer and they will write to the applicant usually within two weeks to introduce themselves and request any additional information required. This case officer will remain responsible for the application until a licence is granted and will be in a position to provide more detailed advice to an applicant.

Our fees for making a Trade ATOL application are £1,890 plus 11.85p per external passenger. A full list of ATOL charges can be found in the Official Record Series 5 - Scheme of Charges.

1. Submit an application

An application form should be completed and sent to us, together with the applicable application fee. Please note application fees are non-refundable.

We have produced a guide to assist in the completion of the application form. If the applicant is part of a group, it need not complete section 8 of the application form, which requires financial projections to be provided. All other sections should be completed. If the applicant is not part of a group, all sections of the application form should be completed.

2. Initial assessment

The application will be allocated to a case officer, who will aim to undertake an initial assessment within two weeks, and will contact the applicant to request any additional information. No further progress can be made until any requested additional information, is provided by the applicant.

Once all requested information has been received, the case will be submitted to a Manager who will consider setting up a meeting with the applicant. A meeting may not be required in all cases, and the need to hold one will be made on an individual basis. We would not usually require to meet ATOL to ATOL Trade licence holders who are part of a group.

3. Formal meeting 

At the meeting, we will go through the financial aspects of the case in detail, set against our published criteria, and outline any necessary cash injections. We will also outline any fitness aspects relevant to the case. Finally, we will briefly run through the administration requirements to maintain the licence, and give the applicant the opportunity to raise any queries.

In most cases, a decision on the application will be concluded at or very soon after the meeting.

4. Offer Letter 

Provided the applicant accepts the decision proposed at or following the meeting, a formal decision letter is issued listing all the requirements necessary to grant a licence. The decision letter allows the applicant up to two months to meet the requirements. Once all requirements specified in the letter have been met, the licence is granted and the ATOL number will be given to the company.

General Requirements

A Trade ATOL is very restrictive, only allowing the holder to sell to other ATOL holders for re-sale under their licences

You can apply for a Trade ATOL if:

  • the applicant company is a subsidiary of an existing ATOL holder, set up to purchase flights from airlines and then sell them to the Parent to package and sell to the public. This structure would minimise taxation under the Tour Operators Margin Scheme (TOMS). Applicants considering this should consult their accountant or tax office; or
  • the applicant company is an independent business which intends to sell only to other ATOL holders.

General Financial & Fitness Requirements

If the applicant is part of a group, we will look at the finances on a group basis and require audited group consolidated accounts. A parent guarantee in support of the Trade ATOLwould be required, together with a group bond if the parent was required to provide a bond.

If the applicant is not part of a group, it will be subject to the usual financial test and a certified balance sheet will be required.

Legally, the CAA must be satisfied that the people who own/control the business are fit to hold a licence. It will request details of the history of the people in a position of influence within an applicant and consider if they are likely to operate in a proper manner if granted a licence. If its preliminary view is that the people are unfit to hold a licence, it will issue a proposal to refuse the licence application, setting out the reasons for reaching the view and giving the applicant an opportunity to put its case to us at a formal meeting.

The CAA has issued a policy note which sets out the personal fitness criteria.

Apply for a Trade ATOL licence

Application Form
Bond Forms 

Please send to:

ATOL New Applicants
CAA House
45-59 Kingsway
London
WC2B 6TE