CAA calls summit to extend ATOL to flights

The Civil Aviation Authority is gathering top travel industry leaders this week to attempt to extend ATOL’s consumer protection scheme to flights.

Following the collapse of travel firm XL and budget transatlantic carrier Zoom, a summit will be held at the UK headquarters of PricewaterhouseCoopers. The move comes ahead of meetings with Geoff Hoon, Secretary of State for Transport, before the end of the year, reports The Independent.
Thomas Cook’s group chief executive, Manny Fontenla-Novoa, and Peter Long, chief executive of TUI, urged for MPs to widen customer protection to airline customers. The pair sent a letter to Ruth Kelly, then Transport secretary, to demand that the Government undertakes an immediate review of consumer travel protection.

In 2005, the government rejected a CAA call to include airlines under the Atol protection scheme when selling seats on planes directly, rather than via agents, despite the support of the Transport Select Committee.

Meanwhile, the Independent reports of growing unease at the handling of the XL administration by the Kroll Group. Kroll recently asked for a further month to publish its report into XL’s demise. Creditors will now have to wait until 4 December.