Number of travel trade licences up – but CAR to examine holiday protection schemes

  • Commission for Aviation Regulation currently licenses 14 Irish-based air carriers
  • 5,199 queries received from the public on passenger rights with €327,503 obtained for passengers with disrupted flights
  • Cap set on charges at Dublin Airport. 2017 provisional charge of €9.86 per passenger
  • 290 Travel firms licensed and bonded
  • 45 ground-handling approvals in issue

A total of 290 travel firms were licensed in Ireland last year, the latest report from the Commission for Aviation Regulation shows. CAR said that although a number of firms withdrew from the sector, 20 licences were issued to new applicants resulting in a net increase in the total issued.

The Commission continues to issue and monitor licences for airlines, groundhandlers, tour operators and travel agents. In 2016 CAR kicked off or continued investigations into eight complaints received concerning possible unlicensed trading. It added: “We also carried out a number of visits to companies suspected of unlicensed trading. In addition, we visited 17 tour operators and travel agents to ensure compliance with licence conditions, with a small number receiving follow-up visits.”

Commissioner for Aviation Regulation Cathy Mannion

Commissioner for Aviation Regulation Cathy Mannion

CAR said it will assess how adequate the current consumer protection scheme which involves travel agents and tour operators providing bonds, and the Travellers’ Protection Fund are, adding: “We will determine if this scheme continues to meet the objective of ensuring consumers are protected in the event of future collapses. We will also consider the extent to which this scheme meets the requirements of a new EU Package Travel Directive which needs to be applied from July 2018.”

Regarding consumer airline complaints, it said that 944 submissions were about cancellations, delays, denied boarding and downgrades, which is a drop of 7pc on 2015 numbers.

It added that it dealt with 3,871 eligible claims – paying out3.34m in compensation – following the collapse of Lowcostholidays Spain SL. Overall, CAR said it processed 5,199 queries and complaints from passengers – a 7pc increase on 2015.

On Dublin Airport, it said the cap set on charges for 2017 is provisionally set on €9.86 per passenger, and this price cap is reduced if any of the quality of service targets are not met. There are 12 in all quality of – nine are selective passenger survey measures, two relate to the availability of the baggage handling systems and the final one sets a maximum security queue time of 30 minutes. Dublin Airport will take a hit of around €250,000 hit as the 30-minute security limit was breached twice last year – on October 1 and 2 at Terminal 1, CAR revealed.

The full report can be found here.





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