International Passenger Protection (IPP) the provider of insolvency/default insurance products to the travel trade welcomed what they see as a step in the right direction in helping consumers make an informed travel purchase through the ATOL reform.Albeit this proposal is only in initial consultation and is not expected to be implemented before the end of the year, IPP regard the CAA’s intention that agents must point out what is and what is not protected as a significant step in the right direction.
The company says the whole industry in 2011 is facing multiple challenges on both political and economic fronts, from job cuts in the UK, instability in the Middle East and IATA warning that rising Oil Prices will affect Aviation profitability. It warns that no single fund or insurance could cover every travel transaction in the UK and the trade should be wary of believing in a solution to include everything under ATOL.
“There simply is not the capacity through any premium or fund, even if there were the potential cost would be exorbitant. The only realistic solution is an informed sale leaving the consumer to benefit from the levy or be protected by their travel agent or tour operator through insurance.” IPP Director, Michael Ward commented.
Ward further explained that they believe the CAA is potentially under strain from ATOL agents not taking out adequate protection against airline and other end suppliers collapses. “Whilst we have seen a dramatic increase in agents taking out corporate SAFI or End Supplier Insurance, there are hundreds of ATOL holders without any cover. An Airline insolvency could lead to the collapse of unprotected ATOL holders which leaves the CAA to meet all of the responsibilities themselves rather than the agent. It is therefore imperative that the CAA ensures agents are protected to prevent further deficit in the ATTF.”