• Making an application

    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.

    Our fees for making a Trade ATOL application are £1,968 plus 12.34p per external passenger. A full list of ATOL charges can be found in the Official Record Series 5 - Scheme of Charges.

    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 ATOL would 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 and competent 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 or not competent 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 and competence 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

  • Application process

    1. Submit an application

    An application form should be completed and sent to us, together with the applicable application fee and applicable supporting documents - please refer to the checklist at the back of the application form. 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 and competence 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. The ATOL number will be given to the applicant once the licence is granted.

    Withdrawing an application

    The CAA considers applications on a case by case basis, however it will generally deem an application withdrawn if an applicant has not actively pursued the application (e.g. by not providing information requested in writing by the CAA) within a reasonable period of time, or by going out of communication entirely for 2 months or more.

    An applicant can also request in writing that its application be considered as withdrawn.

    Where an application is withdrawn or deemed to be withdrawn, no refund will be due.

    If a business subsequently wishes to 're-activate' its application, a new application will need to be made, with the payment of a further application fee and the submission of a new application form and supporting documents.