THOMAS Cook has confirmed it has an “opportunity” to
progress with a cheaper supplier than TTC Training for ABTA’s
insurance qualification.

Director of trade relations Ian Derbyshire has always said the
operator was looking at cheaper schemes than TTC’s, which
would cost £17 a head for the mandatory level-one
qualification.

It is understood Derbyshire met with ABTA head of financial
services Mike Monk this week to discuss an alternative. Thomas Cook
has previously met with the Institute of Travel and Tourism to
consider joint training (Travel Weekly March 29).

Derbyshire refused to confirm whether a deal had been formally
struck, but said: “We’ve the opportunity to progress with one
supplier.”

ABTA’s TTC scheme could have left the big four with a
combined bill of at least £400,000.

Derbyshire said any alternative scheme would need the green
light from the ABTA board. The deadline for the qualification is
September 2005.