InteleTravel agents can now sell own Atol packages after ‘strategic’ delay

InteleTravel agents have just been given the go-ahead to start selling their own Atol packages despite being granted a licence by the Civil Aviation Authority seven months ago.

The group, which now has 11,524 UK homeworkers, was granted the Atol in November last year allowing agents to package their own holidays.

At the time the group described it as “another major step forward” after obtaining its Abta membership in the UK in March 2019.

But UK director Tricia Handley-Hughes said the group made a ‘strategic decision’ to delay members putting their own packages together under the Atol and only expects a ‘small percentage’ to do so.

She said: “It was a strategic decision to ensure the Atol-related products were carefully identified and tested given the number of options available to agents in the booking engine.

“In addition we have been taking agents through regulatory training followed by testing to ensure they understood the importance of attention to details and remaining compliant. In our opinion, it’s better to remain compliant and get it right first time than measure the time taken.”

The Atol is for 5,310 passengers a year. The group said it was always the intention to start gradually.

Handley-Hughes said using the Atol to self-package would only be if a client’s needs cannot be met by selling under a supplier’s Atol.

She stressed: “It has always been our intention to continue to sell Atol products via our suppliers. This small Atol will only apply when a customer request cannot be fulfilled.

“Therefore we expect only a small percentage of agents will package their own product.  

“As with all agents, we will monitor this through our reporting mechanism on a monthly basis and adjust if necessary, but at this time there is no immediate intention or need to increase the number of seats.”

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