ABTA has sent a formal submission to the European Commission asking for a compulsory financial protection scheme for all air passengers.The EU is conducting a consultation on Air Passenger Rights legislation and ABTA is calling on the UK Government to support this ideal opportunity to close the biggest hole in the financial protection regime for the travelling public – airlines.
ABTA says the UK Government has consistently refused to take action on this issue resulting in considerable consumer detriment and placing tour operators who are required to provide protection at an unfair and unjustifiable commercial disadvantage.
The Government has argued that if it were to take action it might be open to challenge under European law. New EU legislation would remove this possibility and ABTA is calling on the Government to support its recommendation to protect the best interests of the travelling public.
Mark Tanzer ABTA chief executive said: “The Government has consistently made it clear that it would not take unilateral action to bring airlines within the scope of a financial protection scheme. This leaves European legislation as the only current option for pursing this outcome. The European Air Passenger Rights consultation has provided us an ideal opportunity to press the case for change and if the Government has any concern for consumer interests it must support us”
ABTA has sought and implemented the views of its Members on this consultation and together with the ongoing review of the Package Travel Regulations and the ATOL scheme it represents a fundamental and unprecedented opportunity to correct years of consumer uncertainty and financial risk.