The Association of Independent Tour Operators chairman has urged the Government to include airlines in the new £1 levy in order to protect customers.
Derek Moore said the Government’s failure to ensure adequate protection of scheduled airlines means that when airlines fail, customers are left stranded and must make their own arrangements.
He added the problem is becoming more pressing as the recent downturn in the economy has led to a number of airlines, including Maxjet, Oasis and City Star Airlines, failing in the UK within the last few months while in the US five airline have failed in the last fortnight alone.
He added: “I’m fed up of seeing fly-by-night airlines leaving innocent travellers in the lurch. It seems that anyone with a 737 sees themselves as the next Richard Branson – and to hell with the consequences when it all ends in tears.
“Consumers need better protection and I strongly urge the Government to include airlines within the £1 levy. It’s common sense to be prudent in this matter.
“Airlines are only too eager to claim that protection is not necessary – yet, staggering as it seems, over 40 have gone out of business in the past 12 months alone.”
He added in the meantime consumers should consider getting specific travel insurance to protect their flights or buy a fully protected package from a traditional tour operator in order to ensure their peace of mind.