Aito members have been urged to put forward their views on proposed Atol reform in the hope the “sheer weight of opinion” will sway the Civil Aviation Authority’s plans.
The warning came at The Specialist Travel Association (Aito) general meeting where the timing of the major changes were heavily criticised.
The CAA is currently consulting on its planned Atol reform which would fundamentally change the way many Atol holders fund their operations. The deadline for the consultation was recently extended to August 15.
Aito said it would be feed back the organisation’s views – but urged as many individual member companies as possible to give their own feedback to the CAA.
Aito’s director of industry affairs Noel Josephides, chairman of Sunvil, told members at the meeting: “Aito believes the CAA is being unreasonable. But it’s extremely important that you take the time to send in your view on the consultation.
“I cannot stress it more. If they have the sheer weight of opinion from everybody then they will have to realise what the actual position is. Don’t leave it just to Aito, send in your own view.”
Matt Purser, director, Travel Trade Consultancy, agreed: “Silence is deemed as acceptance.”
Speaking afterwards, Josephides said the CAA was wrong to ask the trade’s view at such a difficult time, when companies are still trying to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.
He said: “We are being asked to make decisions at a time when we don’t know where the next penny is coming from, and that stinks.
“You need to have this consultation when we are over this in order to get a balanced view. We may not give a view now that relates to normal times.
“We want customers’ money to be safe but what we also want is a coordinated approach so they look at airlines and at the Package Travel Regulations and Atol regulations altogether.”