FREE Monarch repatriation flights end Sunday as travel industry calls for fare levy

MONARCH AIRLINES: Went into administration on  October 2, 2017 MONARCH AIRLINES: Went into administration on October 2, 2017 Shutterstock

THE Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) has said air fares should rise to fund the full repatriation of passengers in the event of an airline collapse.

It comes as the Monarch flight repatriation programme will end soon.

Monarch went into administration on  October 2 when almost 2,000 employees lost their jobs. 

The Government announced that all 110,000 passengers with Monarch Airlines tickets up to 15 October would be returned to the UK free-of-charge in UK's biggest peacetime repatriation.

Customers abroad who are scheduled to fly back to the UK after Sunday, October 15  will need to make their own arrangements unless they are ATOL protected.

The  ABTA travel trade body has suggested that in future all plane tickets should be subject to a levy.

Chief executive, Mark Tanzer, said, “The Monarch collapse has shown consumer protection in travel is not understood and there’s a gaping hole at its centre.”

And Mr Tanzer told the ABTA convention in the Azores that the association was not consulted about the airlift.

He called the exercise “completely unsatisfactory” and said, “It sets a precedent for next time there’s an airline failure.

“Either the Government sticks to the principle ‘you’re unprotected, you’re on your own’ or it adopts the principle that everyone has to be brought back.” 

If the latter, he said, “There has to be a fighting fund based on a levy on all flights.”

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