David Moesli of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) was asked by moderator Jono Vernon-Powell at the AITO Agents’ domestic conference if he was confident that the government will include airlines in the financial protection regime.
Moesli said: “Generally people in the industry want to see a consistency across what the operators and agents have to do and what the airlines have to do and a single badge covering all of that. The government does have that opportunity. The minister of state for transport, Simon Burns, has so far indicated that he understands that. There will have to be a consultation but the very fact that they put that in the Civil Aviation Bill is the best sign that we’ve ever had. What you as an industry need to do is keep up a dialogue with the Department for Transport so they know you are supporting them in pushing this forward.
“The other big thing for 2013 is that the government has said it wants to review the Air Travel Trust and Atol Protection Contribution (APC) payments to see whether this is the best way for the financial protection that we’ve got at the moment. Finally, I can’t talk about regulations without mentioning Europe; Brussels is working on the Package Travel Directive and looking to review it in the next few months. It’s been on the schedule for years and it looks like this will now happen very soon.”
Meanwhile, the CAA’s Nic Stevenson outlined the authority’s communications campaign which was launched last month to increase consumers’ knowledge on the extent of Atol protection. He said: “Research showed last summer about 90% recognise the Atol logo but this is meaningless if people don’t understand what Atol does, so it’s really about raising awareness of the importance of booking Atol protected holidays.
“The next phase for us is that the government has just approved a new budget of an extra £400,000 for the campaign, which we’ll spend on online advertising, more PR and social media.”
For details see www.packpeaceofmind.co.uk