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New Atol rules ‘must be enforced’

Any new Atol regime must make it impossible for dynamic packaging agents to avoid regulations, the Association of Atol Companies (AAC) has demanded.


AAC legal adviser Alan Bowen said a survey conducted among members found most supported the CAA’s ‘flight-plus’ proposal to bring sales of a flight plus a ‘significant’ other element under Atol.


Speaking at a MacIntyre Hudson seminar this week, Bowen warned that some companies would try to wriggle out of ‘flight-plus’ by, for example, selling a flight and, at a later date, a hotel. “There must be strong anti-avoidance measures,” he said.


Abta chairman John McEwan repeated calls for airlines to be brought under Atol. He said: “We’ve got to ensure we have a level playing field. If not, we’ll be driving more business to them direct.”


However, Bowen said the industry was living in “cloud cuckoo land” if it thought there was any political will to bring airlines under the scheme.


CAA head of Atol Andy Cohen said new regulations would not be in place until October 2011 at the earliest.

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