SUMMER package holiday sales fell last year for the
first time since the Gulf War, Civil Aviation Authority figures have revealed.

Sales of ATOL-protected summer holidays dropped by
6.3% last year, with 1.1 million fewer passengers travelling than the 18.8
million in 2001. 

The regulator said a fall in short-term consumer
confidence after September 11, operators cutting capacity and more
holidaymakers using no-frills airlines contributed to the decline.

However, revenues held steady at £8.3 billion, mainly
due to a 6.1% rise in the average price of a holiday to £468.

CAA consumer protection director Helen Simpson said it
was an expected fall.