“A solution to the bankruptcies of airlines is vital,” the Hellenic Association of Travel and Tourist Agencies (HATTA) said last month citing a statement released by the European Travel Agents and Tour Operators Associations (ECTAA), whose members include HATTA, in regards to the bankruptcy of Spanair and Malev.
Six months after the bankruptcy of Spanair and Malev, customers have still not been refunded for the “unflown tickets,” highlighting the lack of proper protection against airline failures.
According to ECTAA, IATA (International Air Transport Association) accredited travel agents are still waiting to receive a refund for the unflown tickets of their customers.
“IATA is holding the travel agents’ remitted amounts and are negotiating with the bankruptcy administrators for the two defunct airlines to reach a consensual refund process,” ECTAA said.
However, six months onwards, an agreement has not been made nor a guarantee that the money remitted by travel agents would be allocated by the bankruptcy administrator for the refund of customers.
ECTAA expressed its concern that in the current weak economic climate, passengers are exposed to high risk of further airline insolvencies.
Meanwhile, IATA forecast another wave of new European airline insolvencies this year with combined losses or airlines predicted to reach $1 billion.
“If the European legislators will not step up and provide a mandatory system to protect passengers against airline failures, passengers will continue to be unsecured creditors in the airline bankruptcy and have little chance of receiving a refund of their air ticket,” ECTAA President Boris Žgomba said.