News from Travlaw’s BTE reported by Ian Taylor…

CAA ‘very happy’ with progress on Lowcostholidays

23 January 2014

A senior CAA figure has described the regulator as “very happy” with the progress of talks with online travel agent Lowcostholidays Spain, formerly Lowcostholidays UK, which relocated to Majorca in November.

The CAA had previously taken a tough line over the potential impact on consumers of the company’s relocation, issuing a series of statements querying the level of financial protection which would result.

Lowcostholidays UK was among the 20 biggest Atol-holders licensed by the CAA when it moved its base on November 1, meaning it no longer requires an Atol.

CAA head of Atol Andy Cohen told the Travlaw Big Tent Event in London on Tuesday night: “We are open to the fact that firms wholly established in another EU state can make available packages in the UK without an Atol.”

He pointed out the CAA was involved in the drafting of the regulatory change which incorporated this position into the Atol Regulations in 2012.

But Cohen said: “It’s our job to protect consumers. That is why we came out so robustly at the time. We were concerned about consumers not being given the full picture to make an informed choice.”

“I’m pleased to say many of the issues have been addressed and we are in dialogue with the company.”

“We are all very happy with that.”

Lowcostholidays Spain declined to comment other than to confirm it remains in contact with the CAA.

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