§ Mr. McCrindle
asked the Secretary of State for Transport what action he has taken since publication of the report on the independent review by Sir Peter Lane into the present arrangements for protecting air package holidaymakers.
§ Mr. Michael Spicer
Action has already been taken on two of Sir Peter's main recommendations. We have undertaken to reimpose a levy on the holders of air travel organisers' licences should future claims arising from the failure of tour operators seriously reduce the size of the air travel reserve fund. The Civil Aviation Authority is also consulting on proposals to increase the level of bonds which must be provided by ATOL holders.
When he announced publication of the report my hon. Friend, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport, invited the views of the travel and insurance industries. Comments have now been received from a number of interested parties. In addition, the chairman of the Air Travel Reserve Fund Agency has commissioned from Bowring UK Ltd an examination of the feasibility of an insurance based scheme for protecting the interests of those buying package holidays from air tour operators. Bowring's interim conclusions suggest that insurance may be a feasible option and they have now been asked to produce a final report. A decision on the future arrangements for protecting holidaymakers will be taken on the basis of this work, when it has been completed and of the other comments we have received.
I hope to announce the final decision before the summer.