The anomalies over the £1 protection charge will only be sorted out when the European parliament acts on it.


Speaking at the ABTA travel law seminar on Monday in London, TUI Travel group counsel Mike Bowers said it will take the full force of the European Union to bring airlines and other travel companies currently exempt from the scheme into it.


However, he warned traditional tour operators against celebrating too early, adding: “Is it likely to happen in the short term? We think not.


“It doesn’t seem likely that the flight solution will come round anytime soon.”


Irish Travel legal adviser Anne Dolan cited the Irish trade as offering a potential to the solution where travel agents have to have a licence in order to trade as well as tour operators, thereby placing them all on the same playing field.