London-based travel company Flight Options Limited, trading principally as Kiss Flights, ceased trading on the evening of 17th August, leaving the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to step in to protect holidaymakers.

The CAA estimates that around 13,000 people are currently overseas with some in Turkey– all of them will be able to complete their holidays and return to the UK thanks to the CAA’s ATOL protection.

Customers who are currently abroad and experiencing difficulties should contact the CAA for more information on 0044 161 444 5811.

Around 60,000 people have forward bookings with the company and will be able to claim a full refund for the ATOL-protected elements of their holiday from the CAA.

Because the company has failed at the height of summer, the CAA is also put in place arrangements to allow people to travel out on their holidays on the 18th August, to minimise confusion and protect passengers.

Customers who booked through Flight Options / Kiss Flights should seek advice from their travel agents about alternative travel arrangements or contact the CAA on 0844 571 7262 for advice about refunds under the ATOL scheme.

The failure of Kiss Flights along with Sun4U and Goldtrail brings the total travel company failiures in one month to three.

All tour operators selling flights and air holidays must hold a licence from the CAA. If a Licence holder fails, the CAA is responsible for ensuring customers are either repatriated to the UK or receive a refund of payments made.

Repatriation costs and refunds are met by the Air Travel Trust Fund, the funds of which come from a £2.50 per person contribution, called the ATOL Protection Contribution (APC), each licence holder is required to make when it accepts a booking under its ATOL. In some circumstances a licence holder will have also provided a bond, which is used in the first instance to protect customers.