The Air Travel Trust has helped refund and repatriate more than 16,500 ATOL protected holidaymakers in the last financial year, at a cost of £14.7.m.

Between April 2016 and March 2017, 19 ATOL holders ceased trading, the largest being All Leisure Holidays Limited.

The Air Travel Trust used its funds to fly home 282 ATOL protected passengers, who were abroad when their travel company collapsed, and ensured 16,608 holidaymakers, yet to travel, received a full refund.

The number of failures in 2016/17 is up from the 10 ATOL holder companies which collapsed in 2015/16

The latest figures are revealed today as the Air Travel Trust, which oversees the fund used to repatriate and refund holidaymakers affected by tour operator collapse, published its annual report and accounts for 2016/17.

The report highlights that the number of ATOL protected bookings was marginally down, following five years of steady growth, with 24.9 million holidaymakers protected by the ATOL scheme last year, down from 25.2 million the year before.

At the end of financial year 2016/17 the ATT fund had a surplus of £145m, up from £139m the previous year, and it is the fifth consecutive year the fund has shown a surplus.

Michael Medlicott, Chair of the Air Travel Trust, said: “In the last 12 months the UK travel industry has faced a number of challenges, including unfavourable currency exchange movements, limited economic growth and a reduction in consumer confidence.

“Furthermore there are a number of on-going geo-political situations, which are having a significant impact on key destinations and these continue to present concerns for holidaymakers.

“In the light of all these factors, the travel market has held up very well, which reflects the high priority consumers attach to their holidays.

“I am also pleased that consumers continue to have trust and confidence in the ATOL brand.”

ATT report and financial statements - key figures at a glance

  • Status of the ATT fund as of 31 March 2017: £145m in surplus
  • Status of the ATT fund as of 31 March 2016: £139m in surplus
  • Total amount received in ATOL Protection Contributions (APC): £62.3m
  • Total protected passengers 2016/17: 24.9m
  • Number of ATOL holder failures: 19
  • Number of protected passengers repatriated: 282
  • Number of protected passengers entitled to a refund: 16,608
  • Estimated cost of failures to the ATT: £14.7m

View the full Air Travel Trust annual report and financial statements for the year ended 31 March 2017.

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Notes to Editors

  1. The Air Travel Trust (ATT) is the primary 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.