Olympic Holidays has had its knuckles rapped by ABTA after sending a letter to agents asking them to recoup the Air Passenger Duty increase from customers.

A Newman Street spokesman said it has requested Olympic re-send the letter to agents without the paragraph stating the operator reserves the right to go back to clients at a later stage to collect the increase.

ABTA also wants Olympic Holidays to make it clear agents are under no obligation to collect the payments and will not be penalised for refusing to do so.

Olympic Holidays commercial director Photis Lambrianides said the operator was happy to comply with the changes, adding: “From the beinning we did this in consultation with ABTA.”

Meanwhile, Federation of Tour Operators director general Andy Cooper denied the Government’s increase of APD was an environmental measure.

He added: “As a tax levied on passenger numbers not aircraft, its effects are perverse in that it penalises environmentally friendly airlines with high load factors and rewards those with half empty flights.”