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CAA confirms September Atol renewals as numbers fall sharply

The Civil Aviation Authority has reported it granted 871 Atol licences by the September 30 renewal date, more than 300 fewer than in October 2019.

The CAA confirmed 118 applications remain outstanding and 144 Atol holders chose not to renew of the 1,133 Atol licences due for renewal. Of those not applying, 41 licence holders no longer required an Atol.

The completed licensing process leaves 1,517 Atol holders in total, with 661 due to renew in March 2022.

The 871 Atol renewals granted by the start of October compares with 995 a year ago and 1,182 in October 2019 when the renewal process was extended until late October following the collapse of Thomas Cook.

The number of holders not applying to renew was down from 176 a year ago but compares with 51 in September 2019.

The outstanding-application total was up from 90 a year ago and 50 at the same time in 2019, largely due to applications being submitted late.

The CAA reported 217 businesses applied in the 14 days leading up to the September 30 deadline and 85 in the last three days.

It urged businesses due to renew Atols next March to apply in good time before the March 31 2022 deadline “because of the time required to analyse and process applications and put any required conditions in place”.

CAA head of Atol licensing Michael Budge said: “The CAA has continued to apply the current Atol framework when processing the latest renewals.

“We understand the pressure the industry is facing and would like to thank travel companies for engaging with us throughout the renewal process.”

He noted: “The Atol scheme ultimately exists to protect consumers and therefore it is more important than ever that the CAA focuses on appropriate protection of customer money, as well as travel businesses maintaining adequate liquidity.”

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