Despite the uncertainty that came earlier this month, the CAA has reported optimism surrounding the March ATOL renewals that meet their deadline this week (April 1st).
It was stated by a Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) representative on Wednesday the 30th of March that the march ATOL renewals were “in a pretty good place”. This comes after a warning earlier in March that 36% of ATOL holders still had yet to submit an application to renew their ATOL. Companies that failed to renew would no longer be able to sell package holidays including flights after Friday the 1st of April.
On March 10th this shortfall was reported. The CAA stated that applications weren’t coming in at the rate of 2021 and 2020, but the CAA group Director for Consumers and Markets, Paul Smith, claimed on Wednesday that the March ATOL renewals would close with the late application rate “not particularly different to historic renewals”.
“We made really good progress since that statement and got a significant number of [renewal] offers to ATOL holders. I’m comfortable with the position we’ll get to. We’re in a pretty good place with the renewal,” he said.
This optimism and increase in applications is great news for the industry, suggesting that the boost of early 2022 has had a great impact (you can find out more about the ATOL renewal fears of earlier this month in our article).
On top of this, Smith said on the 30th of March that the ATOL reform process has been delayed. This delay comes after the CAA issued a consultation on proposals to potentially require the segregation of consumer funds last April. Despite claiming there would be another consultation earlier this year, the CAA have yet to report on the results of the first consultation.
“The process has taken us longer than we might have liked. But it has given us more time to reflect and to try to understand individual businesses,” Smith said and has promised, “a short document that summarises the 300 responses”.
“There is not likely to be a one-size-fits-all approach,” he said. “There will be another consultation around the middle of the year on the preferred option, how we move forward and the preferred implementation process.”
Smith added, “We thought there would be more failures of ATOL holders. We’ve seen companies work phenomenally hard to be resilient. We’ve tried to reflect in the licensing process the fact that we’re here to protect consumers but also to support the industry. It’s much better for us for the industry to be successful.
“The resilience has been fantastic. We want licensing arrangements in place that protect consumers but also help businesses recover and take advantage of pent-up demand. At the end of the day, a successful industry is good for consumers.”
It is fantastic to see a rise in renewals by ATOL holders despite the earlier concerns. The unnecessary stress and concern that this process can and has caused for some travel businesses is part of what Protected Trust Services (PTS) helps to alleviate by supporting members through the application process.
Whether a member is applying for an ATOL for the first time or renewing their ATOL, the PTS franchise ATOL and our supportive ATOL experts in house help members to go through the application process stress-free. Plus, because PTS is an ATOL franchise, a lot of the concerns are set aside when members apply through us, as we provide a financial protection solution with our travel trust account that ensures PTS members have ATOL approved financial protection, just from being a PTS member.
So, if you’d like to learn more about how your consumers’ monies are protected with Protected Trust Services (PTS), applying for an ATOL with PTS, and how we support excellent travel businesses, check out our pages. Or you can get in touch with the lovely PTS team by calling 0207 190 9988 or emailing us at email@example.com.