Travel Counsellors is looking to introduce its financial protection trust scheme in Australia in the wake of the collapse of Air Australia.

The homeworking agency group has agreed to reimburse customers who did not have relevant travel insurance the original cost of their flight ticket.

The company operates a voluntary arrangement through a trust account to complement any existing statutory legislation, in order to offer its customer’s wider financial protection.

It is now considering how to implement such a trust in Australia, where it employs 90 agents, to extend the financial protection it offers customers alongside the country’s statutory Travel Compensation Fund (TCF).

This follows Travel Counsellors being confirmed as the first organisation in the UK to be recognised by the Civil Aviation Authority as an accredited body for the new Flight-Plus scheme, which comes into effect on April 30 for agents across the UK who dynamically package travel arrangements.

Managing director Steve Byrne said: “We are committed to going further to ensure all customer money is financially protected where there are gaps in the statutory arrangements in each country.

“Given that the TCF does not cover scheduled airlines, we thought it only right and proper that we as the agent should ensure that any customer of Travel Counsellors that does not have insurance is reimbursed for the original cost of the flight they had booked with Air Australia through us.”

The Air Australia re-imbursement does not cover any additional cost customers may incur from booking with another airline. It applies as a backstop after customers have sought refunds from relevant principals and insurance, the company said.