§ Mr. McCrindle
asked the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects to wind up the air travel reserve fund and to dissolve the agency; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Michael Spicer
My right hon. Friend has today laid an order before the House under section 6 of the Air Travel Reserve Fund Act 1975. The order provides for the fund to be wound up on 27 February and for the assets in it to be transferred to the trustees of the Air Travel Trust. Copies of the trust deed have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.239W
The agency itself will be dissolved on 30 June. In the period from 27 February until its dissolution the agency will prepare a statement of accounts and a report on its last year of operations.
The fund currently stands at over £20 million and the trust deed allows the trustees to supplement that with insurance, which it is doubtful that the agency would have been able to do. The new arrangements will also streamline the system, ensuring faster pay-outs and greater discretion in dealing with claims.
With more people going on air package holidays this summer, they can do so safe in the knowledge that financially they are well protected against an operator's collapse.