‘Big two’ operators Tui and Jet2holidays could apply to increase their Atol licences following the collapse of Thomas Cook.
In the latest round of Atol renewals, Tui’s licence went down by just over 120,000 from 5.68 million to 5.56 million, while Jet2holidays’ Atol grew by just over 100,000 from 3.8 million to 3.9 million.
Their Atol renewal applications preceded the collapse of Thomas Cook in September.
Since its failure, Tui and Jet2.com have announced major flight capacity increases for next year.
Tui has hiked summer 2020 capacity by two million seats and Jet2.com has added hundreds of thousands of seats for this winter and next summer.
Alan Bowen, legal advisor to the Association of Atol Companies, said: “Operators would have got applications in early [in July] but I’d have thought after Cook failed they would have increased them.
“I expect there will be variations made (to Atol licences).
“Tui has announced it is adding more than two million seats and it’s not keen on flight-only. But Jet2 may sell more seat-only.”
A Tui spokeswoman confirmed to Travel Weekly the company would be contacting the CAA about its intention to increase its Atol licence.
A spokesman from Jet2holidays said: “The latest Atol data shows that our unwavering commitment to delivering a VIP customer experience continues to be a huge hit with holidaymakers and independent travel agents. We will of course continue to review our Atol licence.”
The CAA published a list of the top 10 Atol-holders this week after the deadline for September renewals was extended by almost a month following Thomas Cook’s collapse.
Tui and Jet2holidays retain the top-two slots, while On the Beach rises to fill the third spot previously claimed by Thomas Cook.
Virgin Holidays has moved into the top 10 with a licence to carry 378,000 passengers over the next 12 months.
Expedia has reduced its licence by 304,000, or almost 26%.
EasyJet has hiked its licensed capacity by 89,000 seats, a 12.6% increase on a year ago.
The CAA said there are now 1,283 licensed Atol-holders, compared with 1,296 in September 2018.
Thomas Cook had been licensed to carry 2.47 million passengers.