Saturday, 19 November 2011

Agents will not need individual Atols - CAA


Agents will not need individual Atols - CAA

The Civil Aviation Authority says it is confident agents will not be left to apply for individual Atol licences in order to comply with the Flight-Plus regulations due to be introduced next April.
A CAA spokesman confirmed the authority is in discussions with several organisations interested in becoming approved bodies.
These would hold a Flight Plus Atol on behalf of member agencies, removing the need for businesses to go to the trouble and expense of acquiring their own licence.
The CAA publication of an Atol Reform Information Paper and draft Standard Terms this week appeared to rule out travel association Abta becoming an approved body because it is not prepared to take on the risk of members ceasing trading.
Advantage also appeared to rule out taking approved-body status in favour of offering its members franchise arrangements - although the effect of this would be the same.
The CAA spokesman said: “We are currently in discussions with several organisations which are looking at the options of becoming approved bodies and we are confident the option will be there for agents to take as an alternative to approaching us for a licence on their own.
“The idea of an approved body is to allow agents to undertake licensable business without the need, and the associated costs, of acquiring an Atol of their own in every circumstance. This has benefits for agents.”
Advantage appears to have baulked at the proposed £20,000 initial charge for being licensed as an approved body.
The spokesman said: “The cost for becoming an approved body reflects the level of due diligence the CAA has to do for firms wishing to become one.”