Abta has extended its refund credit note (RCN) regime, giving members the option of issuing new Abta-protected RCNs over the coming months.
The association said the move came in recognition of the "significant" restrictions on travel that remain in place, and members’ minimal income.
It comes after the CAA on Monday (25 January) confirmed RCNs issued up to 31 March would carry Atol protection through to 30 September.
It is the third time the CAA has extended this protection, a move welcomed by Abta.
John de Vial, Abta’s director of membership and financial services, said he hoped the combination of the two extensions would ease pressure on members and boost consumer confidence.
RCNs were introduced as a contingency measure last year to mitigate the refund crisis in travel, with agents unable to reclaim and return clients’ cash owing to cash flow issues or the failure of airlines and operators to return pipeline monies.
"Abta-backed RCNs which have already been issued are valid only until the expiry date shown on them, which can be no later than 31 March 2021," Abta confirmed on Tuesday (26 January).
"The new RCNs will be valid up to and including 30 September 2021 at the latest. The deadline for issuing these RCNs is 31 March this year.
"RCNs work because customers are prepared to accept them as an alternative to an immediate refund and have confidence they will not ‘lose out’ in the long run.
"Maintaining the financial protection which backs RCNs is critical to keeping consumer confidence in them, and so that financial protection must be in place for the duration of an RCN’s validity."