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Fall in ATOL failures lifts travel fund 20 May 2013

The Air Travel Trust (ATT) – a fund used to meet costs when an airline goes bust – has returned to surplus for the first time since 1996, after a fall in ATOL failures.

The annual report details that the ATT received £48.1m in ATOL protection contributions from 19.2m passengers for the year ending 31 March 2013, up from 17.3m passengers during 2011/2012.

Roger Mountford, chair of ATT, said: “The relatively low number of ATOL holder failures shows how well the travel industry performed last year, despite challenging financial circumstances.

“This more stable period for the industry has resulted in the ATT’s welcome return to surplus – consumers now enjoy greater protection for their holidays.”

The ATT fund surplus now stands at just over £18m, following several years without ATOL failures and the implementation of key reforms to the ATOL scheme that has increased its coverage through the introduction of Flight-plus in April 2012.

There were 11 ATOL failures during 2012/2013, representing an estimated cost to the ATT of £844,000, compared to 23 failures in 2011/2012 costing ATT over £14m.

Mountford said: “The introduction of the ATOL certificate has also brought much-needed clarity to the scheme – making it easier than ever for people to know when they have protection.”

The Air Travel Trust Fund is the primary source of funding when an ATOL holder fails. It is administered on behalf of the ATT by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

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