Atol protected 4,700 holidaymakers last year as 10 firms collapsed

More than 4,700 Atol-protected holidaymakers were rescued and repatriated at a cost of £4.8 million following 10 travel company collapses in the last financial year.

Exclusive Escapes was the largest failure with the Air Travel Trust using its funds to fly home 339 passengers, who were abroad when the company collapsed, and ensured 4,391 holidaymakers, yet to travel, received a full refund.

The number of failures in 2015/16 was down from the 15 Atol holder companies which collapsed in the previous financial year.

When compared with the market’s historic performance, this represents a “very low” level of travel company failure, according to the ATT.

The figures are revealed today in the trust’s annual report and accounts for 2015/16.

The report highlights that the number of Atol protected bookings rose for the fourth consecutive year with 25.2 million holidaymakers protected by the scheme last year, up from 23.8 million the year before.

At the end of financial year 2015/16 the ATT fund had a surplus of £139 million, a rise from £94 million the previous year. It was the fourth consecutive year the fund has shown a surplus.

ATT chairman Michael Medlicott, said: “In the last 12 months the travel industry has continued to face challenges arising from geopolitical incidents, which have impacted a number of regions and, naturally, this continues to present concerns for the travelling public.

“However, in spite of this, UK consumer confidence in the travel industry remains strong, which is reflected by the increase in Atol protected bookings, now more than 25m, and the low number of Atol holder failures which, at ten, is the lowest since 2003.

“It is encouraging to see more holidaymakers are continuing to protect their holidays through the Atol scheme, and we continue to support the CAA’s ‘Pack Peace of Mind’ campaign, helping raise awareness of the benefits of Atol, and ensuring consumers can make better-informed buying decisions.

“A combination of all these factors has helped increase the Air Travel Trust fund’s surplus to more than £139m and ensures it is able to cope with the risks that this market faces.”

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