Update on Travel Trade Licence Renewals

(05 May 2011)

Update from Commission for Aviation Regulation on Travel Trade Licence Renewals

The Commission for Aviation Regulation (CAR) today May 4th 2011 has announced the completion of the Spring 2011 licensing round for travel trade renewals. In all, 102 out of 104 applicants have had their travel agent licences renewed with effect from 1st May 2011. Four new applicants were also granted licences making a grand total of 106 licences in this round.

Two travel agents have not had their licences renewed; King Travel Ltd based in Malahide, Co Dublin and Accommodation Finders Ltd based in O’Connell St, Dublin 1; they must cease taking new bookings immediately. CAR advises that any future bookings with these or other unlicensed traders would not be protected by the bonding system operated by the CAR (see 'Notes to Editor' below).

CAR commenced the current licensing process in late 2010 by issuing 2 notices advising intending applicants that it would open its online licensing system from 17th January 2011, earlier than in previous years. The industry was also given deadlines for completion of certain stages of the application process and by which dates financial statements had to be lodged in order to avoid substantially higher levies for late submissions. The principal motive for CAR to extend the length of the licensing round was to allow additional time for applicants seeking to obtain bonds from bank or insurance companies.

Commenting on the process, Alan Richardson, Manager of Licensing for CAR said, “We are pleased that 98% of those seeking to renew their licence completed all of the requirements by the May deadline. Two travel agents have failed to meet these requirements, and must cease taking new bookings immediately. We are advising intending passengers not to book with unlicensed traders as any such bookings will not be protected by the bonding scheme operated by the CAR.  Existing customers of these agents may engage directly with them on their existing arrangements.”

All tour operators and travel agents trading in the State are required by law to be licensed and bonded to buy or sell overseas travel originating in the State to destinations outside Ireland. This is to ensure passenger repatriation in the event that a travel agent or tour operator ceases trading when customers are abroad or to provide refunds where the agent or operator is unable to fulfil the consumers’ contracts before the due date of travel. Any bookings made by members of the public with an unlicensed entity are not protected by the bonding scheme operated by CAR.

For a complete list of license holders please click here.

- Ends -

For further information, please contact

Orla Benson/Morwenna Rice
Drury
01 260 5000
087 8033262 (OB) / 086 194 0069 (MR)

Note to Editors:

  1. Original timelines for completion of licences was as follows:

 

31 January 2011

Adjudication of any collective bond proposals

14 February 2011

Deadline for receipt of application at standard fee

14 March 2011

Issue of “decision in principle” letters for applications received by 14 February 2011

15 April 2011

Deadline for receipt of bond to ensure issuance of licence by 1 May 2011

 2.  A licensing round was also undertaken in October 2010 leading to the total number licensed on 31st   December 2010 at 280 for both tour operators and travel agents.

3.  All renewing and newly licensed applicants used the online licensing system to renew their licenses in 2011.

4.  Advisory note to passengers regarding travel agents not in possession of a travel trade licence: CAR advises customers of travel agents who are not in possession of a valid licence from the Commission that they should not transact any new bookings with such travel agents. They may pay outstanding balances of travel already booked prior to 30th April 2011. Unlicensed travel agents are not permitted to make new travel arrangements for customers without a licence as there is no protection for customers.

5.  Role of CAR: CAR was set up in February 2001 under the Aviation Regulation Act 2001 to carry out economic regulation relating to the passenger charges at Dublin Airport and the aviation terminal service charges imposed by the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA). It also has responsibility for the licensing of commercial aircraft for entities registered in Ireland and for the approval of ground handlers at Dublin Airport. It has responsibility for the slot allocations for aircraft at Dublin Airport and for enforcing consumers’ rights in the air passenger rights and persons with reduced mobility area. It also licences tour operators and travel agents under the Transport (Tour Operators and Travel Agents) Act 1982.

 

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