The Civil Aviation Authority has taken what it calls an “exceptional decision” to extend the licences of all ATOL holders that have applied to renew paperwork on October 1st - but who have not yet received their decision.
Decisions will now be made on October 25th.
The move follows the collapse of Thomas Cook earlier this week.
In response, the CAA is currently involved in Operation Matterhorn, which will see 150,000 British travellers repatriated over a two-week period.
The decision was taken pursuant to regulation 38 of the Civil Aviation (Air Travel Organisers’ Licensing) Regulations 2012, as amended, the CAA said.
An email communicating this decision will be sent out to all applicable ATOL holders on September 30th.
If a September renewing ATOL holder has not yet submitted its renewal application, it must do so by September 30th in order for the above to apply.
Otherwise the ATOL will lapse.
If an ATOL holder has told the UK CAA that it does not intend to renew its ATOL then this decision does not apply to that ATOL holder.
Commenting, Michael Budge, head of licensing operations for ATOL, said: “Given the exceptional circumstances and redistribution of our internal resources at the Civil Aviation Authority to support the repatriation effort, we have taken the exceptional decision that all licences that have yet to be granted will now have the licence period extended until October 25th.
“Extra time will enable industry to have additional time to support customers in a difficult period and give them the space and time to get things together to meet the terms of their renewals.
“It will also give the Civil Aviation Authority the time to appropriately assess applications where we need to complete assessments.
“Extending the deadline is possible within our regulations but it is unprecedented and reflects the exceptional circumstances that we find ourselves in.
“We would like to thank the industry for working with us and ask them to bear with us.”