NEW proposals to protect passengers if an airline hits turbulent times and flies into insolvency are set to come into force.

Amid a difficult financial headwind for the sector, the Department for Transport has just published the eagerly-awaited final report from the independent Airline Insolvency Review.

The Transport Secretary Chris Grayling commissioned the research following the sky-high nosedive into insolvency of Monarch Airlines in October 2017.

Failure to launch a business recovery strategy and chart a flight path around insolvency resulted in no fewer than 85,000 passengers being repatriated – many from Yorkshire and the North East.

Leeds-Bradford Airport was among those hardest hit by the insolvency, which triggered the UK’s largest peacetime repatriation operation by the Civil Aviation Authority. Many employees working at Leeds-Bradford Airport lost their jobs because of the insolvency.

The past decade has seen two of the largest airline failures in UK history, with the collapse into insolvency of XL Airways and Monarch Airlines.

The review has considered consumer protection in the event of an airline or travel company financial failure, and draws on lessons from the collapse into insolvency of Monarch Airlines.

The key recommendations from the report are as follows:

  • Proposals for a new Flight Protection Scheme amounting to less than 50p per person, which would protect passengers if an airline became insolvent while they were abroad
  • Reforms to the UK’s airline insolvency regimes so an airline’s own aircraft can be used to repatriate its passengers should it fail
  • Improved awareness and take up of safeguards which protect customers with future bookings, when airlines fail to launch a successful business recovery strategy and collapse into insolvency, administration, liquidation or bankruptcy.

For many passengers caught up in the previous insolvency cases –  Bradford to Barnsley, Leeds to Lincoln, Harrogate to Huddersfield, Darlington to Doncaster – it is too late to benefit from the new insolvency protection safeguards.

But they still have the opportunity to get on board and comment on the proposals.

Anyone can respond as part of the ongoing consultation on Aviation 2050, which closes on 20 June.

Chair of the Airline Insolvency Review Peter Bucks said: “We know passengers expect to be protected from being stranded overseas if their airline should collapse into insolvency, but in practice, each year many people fly without any such protection.

“Although airline insolvencies are relatively rare, as we have seen in recent months insolvencies do happen – and at times have required Government to step in to repatriate passengers at great cost to the taxpayer.

“Our recommendations set out a series of practical suggestions to ensure that passengers are protected, particularly in the event of a large-scale insolvency like Monarch.

“Amid insolvency, ensuring all passengers can get home requires organisation, funding and in many cases more than simply rebooking onto other flights.

“I hope that the work of the review will – while there is no silver bullet – act as a catalyst to ensure that both passengers and taxpayers are appropriately safeguarded when airlines collapse into insolvency in the future.”

For more information about the work of our licensed insolvency practitioners and businesses recovery teams in Leeds, Bradford, Harrogate and Darlington, please call us on 03300 244 660 or email confidential@walshtaylor.co.uk

Mary Taylor
Director

Mary began working in insolvency for a national accountancy practice in Glasgow thirty years ago and worked in most divisions of the insolvency department.

She then moved to a smaller firm so she could advance her knowledge on a more hands on basis. She moved back to Leeds in 1987 and commenced working with a small firm of accountants and subsequently made partner.

She left in 1999 to set up her own practice, McCann Taylor.
McCann Taylor became involved with the consumer market both in England and Scotland.

Mary sold McCann Taylor in March 2007 and formed Walsh Taylor to concentrate on helping businesses experiencing financial difficulties.

Kate Ellis (neé Breese)
Director

Kate has worked in insolvency since 2001 starting out at a firm of solicitors in Leeds and latterly gaining positions within two national accountancy firms.

During this time Kate gained extensive experience in all aspects of personal and corporate insolvency, for the first part of her career specializing in personal insolvency and latterly corporate.

Kate has been with Walsh Taylor since its incorporation in September 2008, being promoted to Director in January 2010.

Kate is CPI and JIEB qualified, is experienced in a variety of industries and sectors and is the firm’s joint appointment taker.

Meg Heath
Director

Meg has a background in supporting SMEs, including the raising of finance and advising on organisational change. She is a non-executive director of companies in the private and third sector, including Walsh Taylor.

Previously she was Deputy Fund Director of one of the largest CDFIs in the UK, and has experience of the social enterprise, charity and private sectors. Her experience of assisting companies to survive and thrive has been gained across a broad range of sectors and in companies of all sizes.

In addition to her work at Walsh Taylor she works for other private companies, including non-executive and trustee positions.

Emma Mifsud
Director

After graduating from Leeds University in 2005 with a BA Hons degree in Criminology, Emma worked for a regional law firm in both the property department and insolvency and banking department. Whilst doing so Emma gained a Graduate Diploma in Law at BPP University.

Emma then joined a national accountancy firm in 2009 gaining experience in personal insolvency before moving to a Leeds based firm. At this firm Emma specialised in bankruptcies, IVA’s and negotiating informal agreements with creditors. In 2013 Emma gained her CPI qualification.

Since joining the firm in December 2013, Emma has taken on a portfolio of personal and corporate insolvency cases to extend her knowledge and expertise in all areas of insolvency.

In December 2017 Emma become a licensed appointment taker under the Insolvency Practitioners Association, she is JIEB qualified.

Walsh Taylor Finding workable solutions for your financial problems
If you would like us to contact you by phone please include your phone number or call us on 03300244660.