The government-appointed Airline Insolvency Review has published a Call for Evidence and plans a consultation and public hearings before producing recommendations at the end of this year.
Introducing the call for evidence, review chairman Peter Bucks warns: “The scale of any future failure may well be greater than anything the [Atol] scheme has dealt with in the past.
“Future failures could thus overwhelm the resources currently available and potentially have major adverse implications for Government and the taxpayer.”
The review was appointed by secretary of state for transport Chris Grayling following the failure of Monarch Airlines in October last year, when the Civil Aviation Authority organised the repatriation of Monarch passengers at a cost of £60 million.
The review has been charged with “making recommendations on how to protect passengers from the effects of airline failure in a manner that reduces reliance on the taxpayer”.
The Call for Evidence outlines the principles it will apply, stating:
“Taxpayers’ exposure should be minimised or removed.
“The risks for passengers should be allocated to those best placed to manage and control them, whilst avoiding duplication where possible.
“Constraints on the competitiveness and size of the UK aviation market should be minimised and UK airlines not put at a competitive disadvantage.”
And there should be “simplicity for passengers”.
The Call for Evidence will be followed by a consultation and an interim report, due to be published in the summer, before more detailed work leading to a final report to the secretary of state in December.
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