Richard Moriarty, who is due to take up the role in June, told delegates at the Barclays Travel Forum last week that the Air Travel Trust Fund (ATTF), which now totals £145 million, was “a modest sum”.
Asked about reducing the APC, which is currently set at £2.50 and is paid by customers taking Atol-protected holidays, Moriarty replied: “There’s no discussion with government at the moment about reducing the APC. Most of the conversations we’re having with the government are about the Airline Insolvency Review – that’s very much where our focus is.
“My expectation is that the government will wish to see a situation where the ATTF can cover pretty much all of the risk of a tour operator failure so tax payers aren’t on the hook. At what point that is, is probably not where we are at the moment – £145 million. But there may come a point where the fund gets to a scale where [reducing it] becomes the right thing to do.”
Questioned as to what total the fund would need to reach for this to happen, Moriarty admitted: “I don’t know off the top of my head. But I know that we’re not at the point yet where all those risks are covered for us to say to the government to reduce the APC.”
Elsewhere, Moriarty said the CAA was continuing its investigation into allocated seating policies on airlines, and that it may look to publish a list of the worst offenders.