The UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has released the latest figures for Atol license holders in the UK travel industry following the latest April renewals (some companies renew six months later, in October) and they suggest that, overall, sales of tour packages should likely increase overall outbound travel—but not necessarily to the U.S.
Some notes on the renewal figures for the Top 20 tour operators, based on seats to be sold, include the following (For purposes of comparison, we’ve posted the Top 20 list for last year below.).
The Top 3 tour operators, TUI Group, Jet2holidays and Thomas Cook continue to dominate the list in terms of number of licensed seats. (Jet2holidays has surpassed Thomas Cook for the Number 2 position.)
TUI has grown its Atol license total by just under one percent, from 5,344,076 to 5,386,845, adding more than 40,000 more passengers to its annual total since April 2017.
Jet2holidays, an package tour holiday provider with NYC as it’s only US destination, as increased its Atol license inventory by nearly a third (29.2 percent) vs. last April—from 2,272,178 to 2,936,420.
Thomas Cook is listed as the third highest Atol holder, with a total of 2,389,227, which is down 2.5 percent vs. 2,450,181 at the same time last year.
Online travel agent Expedia, with 1,416,227, reduced its numbers by 0.4 percent while On the Beach, a UK OTA, On the Beach, added more than 200,000 seats to its license, going from 1,100,951 to 1,302,261.
British Airways Holidays saw its numbers drop nearly 12 percent—from 893,000 to 786,000, while Love Holidays parent We Love Holidays jumped from 9th on the list last year to 6th this year, more than doubling its numbers from 400,093 to 804,618.
Loveholidays.com is licensed to carry 804,618, up 27.5 percent year-on-year), has now overtaken British Airways Holidays (786,000, down 12 percent going from eighth to sixth place after more than doubling its capacity in just two years.
Meanwhile, Kuoni, which renews this fall, indicated that it had changed the name under which it renews its Atol. Last year, Kuoni’s license at this time of year was for 84,688 passengers. This year, reporting under the name of parent company Der Touristik UK, it was 55,019.
Virgin Holidays also moved into the Top Ten, ahead of Southall Travel, with its numbers increasing from 337,623 to 388,249.