Travel Republic co-founder Kane Pirie has warned any change in the law to soften travel companies’ obligations under the Package Travel Regulations (PTRs) and ease the refund crisis facing the sector risk being challenged via judicial review.
Pirie, through his It’s Right to Refund campaign, has written to transport secretary Grant Shapps to "remind him and the government of their obligations under the PTRs and the risks of judicial review if these are contravened".
Abta is lobbying the government to amend the PTRs to remove the requirement to pay refunds for cancellations within 14 days and allow travel sellers to instead issue protected refund credit notes to the value of the booking to preserve liquidity and cash flow.
These can be used to book a new trip, or they can be exchanged for a full refund at a later date. Abta told TTG on Monday (20 April) it was "hopeful" the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy would outline relief for the sector this week.
The association has previously warned any failure to support the sector could end up leaving the government with a bill for up to £4.5 billion; result in thousands of redundancies; and risk placing extreme pressures on the Air Travel Trust Fund, which has already been depleted by the collapse of Thomas Cook.