MPs move step closer to bringing airlines into Atol

The Civil Aviation Bill which will give the government powers to bring holiday sales by airlines into the Atol scheme passed a milestone on its journey through Parliament yesterday when it completed its passage through the Committee stage.

Transport minister Theresa Villiers confirmed the government would consult on including airlines in the Atol scheme after the Bill becomes law in 2013.

She expressed delight that the clause giving the transport secretary powers to include holiday sales by airlines and agent-for-the-consumer sales in the Atol scheme had “generated significant cross-party support”.

Villiers told MPs: “The government thinks it should have this power.”

She added: “Most airlines do not support the change, but some do. Should it become law, we would expect to consult on the change in 2013. A decision would then be taken.”

However, Villiers said consulting ahead of the Bill becoming law “would not be appropriate”.

Abta head of public affairs Luke Pollard said: “This is good news. It shows we are progressing. The language was positive. The Bill has cross-party support and has cleared another hurdle. The Department for Transport will be consulting on this in 2013.”

However, he added: “We are not letting up on our lobbying.”

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