Call for evidence on Air Travel Organisers' Licensing reform

15 December 2011

The Transport Committee calls for written submissions on Air Travel Organisers' Licensing (ATOL) reform.

The Transport Committee invites written evidence on the Government’s proposed reforms to the Air Travel Organisers’ Licensing (ATOL) scheme with a view to taking oral evidence from Theresa Villiers MP, Minister of State, and others on Tuesday 31 January 2012.

We would be grateful to receive written submissions by Friday 20 January 2012.

This evidence session is further to the Committee’s inquiry into the Government’s draft Civil Aviation Bill (inquiry page) as the Government has indicated that provisions for the reform of the ATOL scheme may also be incorporated into the Bill.


The ATOL scheme is a financial protection scheme managed by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). All travel companies selling air holiday packages and flights in the UK are required by law to hold a licence called an Air Travel Organiser’s Licence (ATOL).

In the event of an ATOL holder’s failure, the ATOL Scheme ensures that customers who paid and contracted with the ATOL holder for an air holiday package or a flight do not lose the money they have paid and are not stranded abroad.

The ATOL Scheme does not cover bookings and payments made to airlines, or to airline agents where airline tickets or a similar airline booking confirmation has been issued.

The Government has said that it plans to change the ATOL regulations so that consumers can have greater clarity about when their holidays are ATOL protected. The outline proposal is that anyone booking a flight which is sold together with accommodation (and/or car hire) at the same time or within a day of each other will be covered by ATOL.

Further information is available on the Civil Aviation Authority’s website: Air Travel Organisers’ Licensing

Notes on written submissions

It assists the Committee if those submitting written evidence adhere to the following:

  1. Written submissions should be as short as is consistent with conveying the relevant information. As a rough guide, it is helpful if they can be confined to six pages or less. Paragraphs should be numbered for ease of reference. A summary of the main points at the start of the submission is also helpful.
  2. Evidence should be submitted by e-mail to in Word format, with as little use of colour and images as possible. If you wish to submit written evidence to the Committee in another format you must contact a member of staff to discuss this. The body of the e-mail should include a contact name, telephone number and postal address. It should be absolutely clear who the submission is from, particularly whether it is on behalf of an organisation or in the name of an individual.
  3. Once accepted by the Committee, written evidence becomes the Committee’s property and it may decide to publish it or make other public use of it. If the Committee decides to accept your contribution as evidence we will email you formally accepting it as such. You may publicise or publish your submission yourself, once you receive the formal acceptance of your evidence to the Committee. When doing so, please indicate that it has been submitted to the Committee.
  4. The Committee aims to publish the majority of written evidence that is received, but some submissions will be placed in the Parliamentary Archives for public inspection rather than being printed or published online. If you do not wish your submission to be made public, you must clearly say so, and should contact a member of staff to discuss this. Though the Committee is happy to receive copies of published material or correspondence sent to other parties, formal submissions of evidence should be original work produced for the Committee and not published elsewhere.
  5. Committee staff are happy to give more detailed guidance on giving evidence to a select committee, or further advice on any aspect of the Committee’s work, by phone or e-mail.

Additional information on submitting evidence to a Select Committee is available online in the House of Commons Guide to Witnesses (PDF PDF 1.25 MB).

Image: istock 

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