Update from Commission for Aviation Regulation on Travel Trade Licence Renewals

Thursday 4th May 2011 – 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 agents’ 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. CAR has uploaded details on its website www.aviationreg.ie to advise the public of current licence holders.
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 two 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 see http://www.aviationreg.ie/Licence_holders/Default.154.html