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The CAA was criticised and the impact of the new government on travel was debated when travel industry leaders gathered at the ITT conference in Benidorm this week. Chris Gray and Daniel Pearce report


THE CAA has refused to back down in its prosecu- tion of online agent Travel Republic despite being publically urged to drop the case by Thomas Cook chief executive Manny Fontenla-Novoa. Speaking at the ITT conference in Benidorm,

Fontenla-Novoa said the case had become a dis- traction getting in the way of finding a solution to consumer protection in travel. Fontenla-Novoa said the CAA should focus its

Fontenla-Novoa: “CAA should focus on new legislation” Don’t bow down to ‘green zealots’

THE TRAVEL industry has been warned not to let “green zealots” force it into giving in to too many concessions on the environment. Lord Bernard Donoughue of the Global Warm- ing Policy Foundation said the evidence showed that in the past 10 years the rise in global tem- perature had actually been zero. “Don’t be passive believers and victims of all

the propaganda,” Donoughue told the confer- ence. Tell ministers to make their actions pro- portionate, and not ruin the economy and your

04 11.06.2010

industry unnecessarily. Don’t let the claptrap- pers bully you.” While he agreed with the broad evidence that global warming was taking place, Donoughue said that the issue had “seemed to fill a political and spiritual vacuum” and the future doomsday forecasts of computer models were exaggerated. Addressing the same session, Tui chief execu-

tive Dermot Blastland said the industry had worked hard not only to cut back on its emis- sions, but also to promote responsible tourism.

CAA urged to drop Travel Republic case

attention on getting a long-term solution to con- sumer protection through the review of the Atol system, and should ensure it provided a level playing field across the industry. “The Travel Republic case is a distraction,” he

said. “The law has got to be changed and it should drop the case against Travel Republic and focus on getting new legislation in place.” The CAA will ask the Supreme Court to hear

the case despite losing in a magistrate’s court and again when it appealed to the High Court. In a statement issued after Fontenla-Novoa’s

intervention, the CAA again refused to back down. Consumer protection director Richard Jackson said: “It was demonstrated by the XL Group collapse in 2008, and more recently in the disruption caused by volcanic ash, that there are substantial advantages to booking Atol protected packages. “In both examples many customers who had not bought an Atol-protected package found that they lost money on elements of their holiday cruise, villa or hotel when they could not reach their destination by air. Customers who booked an Atol package did not lose out.”

‘APD could rise 40% in reform’

THE AMOUNT of money raised through Air Passenger Duty could increase by 40% under government plans to reform the tax, London City airport’s chief executive has claimed. Richard Gooding said the coalition government

believed APD was a “soft tax” that could be increased without causing any harm to the economy, and was expecting its tax take to increase by 40%.

He warned that the effect would be to moder- ate demand, which might please the Liberal Democrat part of the coalition, but would “make everybody in the travel industry worse off”. The reform to create a “per-aircraft” tax based on aircraft rather than individual passengers will hit London City as it has a high degree of business travellers with fewer passengers per aircraft compared with leisure routes. A Treasury spokeswoman said she was unable to confirm how much extra a per-aircraft tax

Richard Gooding

would raise but added there may be more information in the Budget.

Fisher to run Cook scheduled division

FORMER GOLD Medal boss Terry Fisher is to take charge of Thomas Cook’s restructured scheduled business. He will be in charge of the unit which will include Thomas Cook Signature, Thomas Cook Tours, Gold Medal, Cresta, Netflights, Pure Lux- ury and Elegant Resorts. Cook had already announced 70 redundancies as part of the restructure.

■Thomas Cook falls out of the Ftse 100, p14


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