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Published on Monday, October 5, 2020

CAA acknowledges 'huge pressure businesses are under' as ATOL renewal deadline expires

The Civil Aviation Authority says it understands the pressure travel businesses are facing, as it confirmed that of the 1,261 ATOL licences that expired on 30 September, only 995 have been renewed.

A further 90 are still in the process.

The figure compares to 1,182 licences renewed in 2019 and 1,072 in 2018.

Over the past three years the number of ATOL licence holders at the 30 September renewal date has steadily declined from 1,296 in 2018, 1,283 in 2019 and 1,261 in 2020.

In total there are now 1,732 ATOL holders overall.

Michael Budge, Head of ATOL Licensing at the UK Civil Aviation Authority, said: "We understand the huge pressure that travel businesses are under at this time and would like to thank them for positively engaging with us to meet the required conditions for their ATOL renewal.

"In the interest of protecting consumers, we continuously engage with and closely monitor ATOL holders throughout the period covered by their licence, requesting further information where necessary."

However, the CAA said travel businesses that were not due to renew their ATOL licence during this renewals period should apply "in good time" before the 31 March 2021 expiry date.

The deadline for the 2019 ATOL renewals period was extended to 25 October 2019, following the collapse of Thomas Cook.

The UK Civil Aviation Authority keeps its regulatory models under review, including how we manage the ATOL financial protection scheme.

In light of recent events, we are considering how we can work with the industry to improve financial resilience for the benefit of both consumers and travel businesses. As ever, we would consult stakeholders on any potential proposals.

Travel businesses should apply 'in good time' before the 31 March 2021 deadline if they want to renew their ATOL, the CAA said.  

ATOL Licences as of 30 September 2018: 1,296
Did not apply 2018: 117
Granted 2018: 1,072
Applied but not yet renewed 1 October 2018: 107

ATOL Licences as of 25 October 2019: 1,283
Did not apply 2019: 51
Granted 2019: 1,182
Applied but not yet renewed 26 October 2019: 50

ATOL Licences as of 30 September 2020: 1,261
Did not apply 2020: 176
Granted 2020: 995
Applied but not yet renewed 1 October 2020: 90

By Louise Longman, Contributing Editor (UK)

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