Tui Travel chief executive Peter Long has called the Civil Aviation Authority’s plan to introduce Atol certificates for all protected customers a “valuable step forward”.
He also welcomed transport minister Theresa Villers’ acceptable of a move to ‘flight plus’ – inclusion of any purchase of a return flight plus one or more added overseas-holiday elements – as the basis of a scheme that would extend protection to dynamically-packaged trips.
Long said: “Today’s announcement by the CAA and Theresa Villiers are positive for the industry. Having something that clearly sets out what is protected at the time of making an Atol booking will lead to less confusion for our customers.
“If a new certificate means that customers realise the value of protection at the point of booking this will be a valuable step forward.”
However, he stressed the need for wider reform: “Equally important, however, is the acknowledgement that wider reforms in the industry are necessary and we will actively engage with both the CAA and government to help ensure that the reforms accurately reflect the market place we operate in and protect our customers.
“Under the current regulations some players are not required to provide protection at all whilst other, well run, financially stable companies are effectively subsidising the high risk activities of less financially stable Atol licensees.”
He added: “It is heartening to see that the coalition government has very quickly realised this and the comments by Theresa Villiers that work is actively being undertaken on wider reforms to Atol to make it more suitable for the diverse 21st century holiday market are, we believe, extremely important.”