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NEWS ON ATOL AND APD – OR RATHER, NO NEWS

Where Governments are concerned, you never really know whether it is incompetence, deliberate tactics, or just not understanding what makes the world go round in trying to take decisions that should benefit all concerned. Two areas are highlighted this week by different governing bodies.

The Scottish Government, in answer to a question tabled at Holyrood last week, admitted that the reform on APD had taken a backward step and it was unlikely any movement would be made until late 2020 or indeed early 2021 – the final year of this parliament, before we go to the polls again. Holyrood does not want to foot the bill for the exemption on APD for the Highlands and Islands currently in place and for which the Scottish Government would become liable should a reduction on APD be instituted. Or ADT as it will be called in Scotland. So the status quo remains.

Meanwhile further south, deep in the dungeons of the CAA and DfT and without any fanfare, no press release, and seemingly no release to any of the 30 respondents to the ATOL proposals, the DfT issued its response to the consultation earlier this year. To say that it is short is an understatement, which sounds on the face of it a good thing, however real detail is in short supply. The deadline day of the 1st July is only a couple of weeks away, and we are still in the dark about how it truly affects new agency agreements, and new booking conditions.

I hope it is not wrong to assume that at some point very soon, the CAA will advise some leeway for agencies in what has become a shambolic approach to a very important subject. Having had over two years to get this right, we must hope that the DfT has been distracted on that other very important subject of the Brexit agreements, and at the very least trying to get that right, because up till now they haven’t served the travel industry well at all.

Nevertheless in the future we can look forward to discussions on the subjects of Airline Insolvency, and IATA’s New Generation ISS Programme designed to tighten BSP payments, just to keep us busy over the next few months, and no doubt the years ahead.

The successful and unbelievably close run Quiz Final took place last week, with Monarch of the Glen (Glen Travel) just edging a truly competitive and exciting final from the Three MustGetBeers (Traveleads). Thanks to all concerned, including huge thanks to our sponsors Qatar Airways who provided the first prize of tickets for the winning team, and also to Superbreak, Virgin Trains + Virgin Trains East Coast for their prizes, and of course to Travel Matters for theirs as well.

Next up is the Summer in the City – Country and Western Hoedown on Thursday 14th June in Glasgow, and it looks like another capacity crowd to line-dance the night away. Remember – cowboy and cowgirl dress is best, lasso’s and horses welcome, but please leave those toy guns at home to avoid unnecessary concerns from those members of the public not attending.

Ken McLeod
SPAA President
07/06/18