ATOL Consultancy

Our Consultants have over 30 years’ combined experience working for ATOL at the Civil Aviation Authority including Licensing, Renewals, Risk Analysis, Crisis Management, Repatriations and the 2012 implementation of ATOL Reform, ATOL Certificates, Flight-Plus and Accredited Bodies.

This means we are uniquely placed to give you clear, accurate and up to date advice.

Whether you are looking to start a new travel business and need to apply for your first ATOL or Accredited Body licence, want to understand the implications of ATOL Reform and Flight-Plus or whether you need advice on your current ATOL, we can help.

First things first. Do i need an ATOL?

Applying the ATOL regulations to your business can be very complex so in your free initial consultation, we’ll start by helping you to answer this fundamental question.

If we don’t think you do, we’ll be happy to tell you.

You can find more information and guidance in our Frequently Asked Questions section.

New Applications

Applying for your first ATOL can be daunting so let us help to guide you through the process:

  1. Advise you which categories you require on your ATOL (Packages, Flight-Plus, Flight-Only);
  2. Prepare or review your application to the Civil Aviation Authority;
  3. Prepare or review your business plan, financial projections and any supporting documents;
  4. Attend your first meeting with the Civil Aviation Authority;
  5. Help arrange any bonding or other security requirements.

Renewals

You need to apply to renew your ATOL every year. We can help with that too:

  1. Prepare or review your application, checklist and supporting documents
  2. Attend any meetings with the Civil Aviation Authority
  3. Help arrange any bonding or other security arrangements

When things get a little more complicated

We have experience in implementing and advising on the implications on your ATOL of:

  1. Financial and structural ring fences;
  2. Air Travel Trust approved trust accounts;
  3. Blocked cash/ charge accounts;
  4. Bespoke/ asset backed security arrangements;
  5. Calculating and assessing Air Travel Trust risk exposure;
  6. Mergers, acquisitions and disposals;
  7. Financial restructures;
  8. Private equity financing;
  9. Leveraged buy-­outs.

ATOL Reform, Flight Plus, ATOL Certificates

Our experience of working for ATOL during the implementation of ATOL Reform means we are uniquely placed to be able to advise on:

  1. Flight­-Plus and what it means for your business
  2. ATOL certificates and your responsibilities

Accredited Bodies and Becoming an Accredited Body

Accredited Bodies are membership organisations that are licensed by the CAA. Further details are included in our Frequently Asked Questions section.

Our ATOL consultants have unrivalled experience in assisting with Accredited Body applications so we can help you implement the necessary structures and guide you through the process.

ABTA Consultancy

Whether you are looking to start a new travel business and are considering applying for ABTA Membership, or you require assistance with your existing ABTA Membership, we can help.

Applications

We can assist with every aspect of you ABTA application including the following:

Assess the type of membership you need, including ABTA Retail and/or ABTA Principal (Tour Operating) membership;

Provide advice to existing ABTA members on whether you are using your membership correctly and if your company is being assessed correctly;

New ABTA applications obtained quickly, efficiently and at the right level for you;

Completion of the ABTA application form and help in compiling all of the supporting documentation;

Assistance with preparation of specific business plan and financial projections for the ABTA application, provide supporting information to help pre-empt any questions and speed up the application process;

Liaise, prepare responses and chase ABTA regarding applications;

Negotiate with ABTA to ensure a favourable decision is reached;

Attend any meetings with ABTA including representing you at the ABTA Committee panel;

Help compile all of the grant requirements (including bonds and insurances);

Provide ongoing advice and support once the ABTA membership is in place.

When things get a little more complicated

We have experience in implementing and advising on the implications on your ABTA Membership of:

Financial and structural ring fences;
Trust accounts;
Blocked cash/ charge accounts;
Calculating and assessing risk exposure;
Mergers, acquisitions and disposals;
Financial restructures;
Private equity financing;
Leveraged buy-­outs.

ABTA/ ATOL Joint Administration Scheme

The Joint Administration Scheme (JAS) was introduced in 2012 in response to ATOL Reform. For businesses with less than £1.5m licensable turnover it is now possible to apply for an ATOL through their existing ABTA contact.

There are a number of benefits including reduced application fees, reduced bonding requirements and efficiency savings from dealing with one ABTA contact for both.

We can advise you if the JAS is suitable for you and provide assistance with the application process.

IATA Consultancy

Whether you are looking to start a new travel business and are considering applying for IATA Accreditation, or you require assistance with your existing IATA Accreditation, including understanding the 2013 changes to the IATA Agents Handbook , we can help.

New Accreditation

We can assist with all aspects of your IATA Accreditation application including. Our service includes:

Assessment of the type of IATA Accreditation you need;

New IATA Accreditations, obtained quickly, efficiently and at the right level for you;

Completion of the IATA application form and help in compiling all of the supporting documentation;

Preparation of specific business plan and financial projections for the IATA application;

Provide supporting information to help pre-empt any questions and speed up the application process;

Liaise, prepare responses and chase IATA regarding applications;

Negotiate with IATA to ensure a favourable decision is reached;

Help compile all of the grant requirements (including bonds and insurances);

Provide ongoing support once the IATA Accreditation is in place;

Existing Accreditation

If you already hold an IATA Accreditation, we can provide the following ongoing support:

Assistance with notice of change form and advise on how any changes should be presented to IATA (such as changes in ownership or business structure);

Advise whether you are using your accreditation correctly and if your company is being assessed correctly;

Perform an IATA Healthcheck to advise you of the implications of the 2013 changes to the IATA Agents Handbook. This could include recommending changes to your balance sheet or company structure to reduce the impact of the rule changes. For more information on the IATA Healthcheck, see the IATA section of our FAQs.

When things get a little more complicated

We have experience in implementing and advising on the implications on your IATA Accreditation of:

Financial and structural ring fences;
Trust accounts;
Blocked cash/ charge accounts;
Calculating and assessing risk exposure;
Mergers, acquisitions and disposals;
Financial restructures;
Private equity financing;
Leveraged buy-­outs.

Bonding

You may be required to provide a bond as part of your application for ATOL, ABTA, IATA and some other organisations.

How we help

We can assist you in obtaining a bond in the following ways:

  • Put you in touch with specialist qualified travel bond brokers who are regulated by the Financial Services Authority;
  • Help you prepare the application and documentation including business plans and supporting financial projections;

Corporate Finance

There are a number of powerful regulators and membership organisations in the travel sector. The most prominent are the CAA, IATA, ABTA but depending on the sub-sector, there may be others.

Completing a corporate transaction without considering the regulations, requirements, and likely reactions of these important stakeholders is very risky. It could ultimately destroy shareholder value or derail a transaction in the advanced stages.

We can assist in all stages of the transaction to ensure regulatory clearance is achieved quickly and efficiently.

At the planning stage

We can help at the planning stage by:

Assisting with the design of a transaction structure and acting as a soundboard;

Feeding back the likely views and reactions of the regulator/ membership organisation;

Identifying the likely financial ratios and benchmarks the regulator/ membership organisation will apply in their assessment;

Suggesting variations or amendments to existing plans;

Leveraging our contacts at the regulator/ membership organisation to obtain initial, informal views on the proposed structure.

At the execution stage

We can help at the execution stage of the deal by:

Advising on the best way of presenting the deal structure to the regulator/ membership organisation;

Attending any meetings with the regulator/ membership organisation and negotiating optimal grant conditions;

Assisting with implementing any requirements of the regulator/ membership organisation (such as bonding, ring fencing, trust accounts or other security structures);

Obtaining final regulatory clearance quickly and efficiently.

Financial Analysis

The most sucessful businesses in the world manage their profitability, cash flow and working capital using detailed financial models.

In addition, banks, regulators, bond providers and other stakeholders may require detailed financial models to support credit or licensing decisions.

Our team have worked with the largest accountancy organisations and travel businesses in the world and have the experience to be able to deliver financial models tailored to your needs.

We understand the mechanics of the travel sector so our models build in all relevant assumptions and key variables.

Our Other Services

Since our formation, we have provided a range of other ad-hoc services. Some examples are included below. We would be happy to discuss your individual needs:

Trust accounts
We have implemented trust accounts that comply with ATOL, ABTA and Merchant facility requirements to reduce the level of bonding and other security required.

Benchmarking:
We worked with a client to carry out a benchmarking exercise of their major competitors and to provide advice on their charging model.

Management Information Reporting
We have set up management information reporting systems that identify and report financial and non-financial Key Performance Indicators (“KPIs”).

Our Network

We work closely with a network of travel industry professionals from independent practitioners to the “big 4” professional services firms.

If you need assistance with travel industry specific issues we will be able to put you in touch with a talented professional who is right for you.

We frequently assist our clients in finding the right advice across the following fields:

  • Legal issues (Contracts, litigation);
  • Accounting and audit;
  • Merchant services, credit card providers;
  • Trust accounts;
  • Tax including the Tour Operator’s Margin Scheme (“TOMS”);
  • Marketing and P.R.;
  • Insurance (supplier failure, SAFI, fidelity, bonding);
  • Recruitment.