Brits could face extra air travel fees to protect passengers if airlines go bust

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  • 10:08, 10 MAY 2019
  • Updated10:17, 10 MAY 2019

Brits could face extra fees on air travel as the government considers measures to protect passengers if another airline should go bust in the future.

The Department of Transport published its Airline Insolvency Review this week, which Transport Secretary Chris Grayling commissioned following the collapse of Monarch Airlines in 2017.

At the time, over 110,000 passengers were overseas, and over 300,000 future holiday bookings were lost which the government estimates affected three quarters of a million people.

As a result, the Civil Aviation Authority undertook a repatriation scheme to bring home not just passengers who had ATOL protection , but all those overseas.

Of course this came at a substantial cost, prompting the government to consider alternatives in the event of future airlines collapsing.

This includes proposals for a new Flight Protection Scheme which it says would amount to "less than 50p per person", in a bid to protect passengers if an airline does collapse while they are abroad.

The new scheme would mean that there could be less of a need for government interference, and only passengers who are choosing air travel would need to pay the extra fees as opposed to a wider tax being introduced.

The idea is that because it will be airline passenger-specific, it will mean that in the event an airline does go bust, passengers will be have "reasonable assurance" that they can be brought back home whether they have an ATOL protected package holiday or not.

Other proposals included reforms to the aviation industry meaning that if an airline goes into administration its own aircraft can be used to bring back stranded passengers.

Of course at the moment this is purely a proposal, and it could be years before any fees were put in place. (It's also worth noting that this is entirely separate to Air Passenger Duty tax ).

Chris Grayling said in a statement: "I welcome the report and I am grateful for the work performed by Peter and his team.

"We will now consider the range of options put forward by the review, and will work to swiftly introduce the reforms needed to secure the right balance between strong consumer protection and the interests of taxpayers”.

"We welcome any views on the report’s recommendations and encourage stakeholders to respond as part of the ongoing consultation on Aviation 2050, which closes on 20 June."

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