Speaking at the Barclays Travel Forum on Wednesday morning (May 9), new CAA chief executive Richard Moriarty said the CAA “was not expecting everyone to comply” with new PTRs which come into force on July 1 - just 10 weeks after they were published to the industry in full for the first time.
Moriarty said the CAA would not seek to sanction businesses until October 1.
“We’ve been very clear that given the compressed time scale before the PTR goes live on July 1, we are not expecting everyone to comply,” he said.
“We will take a proportional and mentoring stance on July 1. Companies will have three months to get their house in order, when I expect companies to have a plan to get to that.”
A “grace period” of between three and six months has been widely speculated ahead of the implementation of the new PTRs on July 1.
However, Moriarty’s comments are among the first to formally and publicly suggest there will be some leeway on the new regulations.
Moriarty told delegates “companies must show they have a plan in place and are working towards being ready”.
It is understood, however, the CAA’s olive branch would only extend to breaches of the regulations relating to functions of the CAA.
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and Department for Transport have responsibility for other aspects of the regulations and could yet take enforcement action on these matters.
Victoria Bacon, Abta’s director of brand and business development, told TTG Moriarty’s comments are only in relation to those areas within the CAA’s remit such as the monitoring and enforcement of licensing and financial protection.
"Companies will still, by law, be liable from July 1 under the much wider remit of the Package Travel Regulations so it’s really important they continue to get ready for change," she said.
The PTRs are the UK government’s interpretation and legal basis for implementation of the EU’s Package Travel Directive.
Moriarty’s comments come after TTG sought this week to unite industry calls for a delay to implementation of the PTR, and for fresh face-to-face consultation with the government.