IATA (International Air Transport Association) is an international trade body representing the airline industry. Travel agents can apply for IATA accreditation which authorises them to sell and issue international airline tickets.
For new applicants, an IATA bond will be required if a company or parent company’s accounts show that:
You have not made a profit before tax, or your current assets do not exceed current liabilities at the end of an accounting period.
Your company has traded for less than 3 years in the travel industry.
For accredited IATA agents, an IATA bond will be required if a company or parent company’s accounts show that:
You have not made a profit before tax, or your current assets fo not exceed current liabilities, at the end of an accounting period
You or your parent company undergo significant change of ownership
The level of IATA bond is based on an average of the projected annual turnover of airline seats less credit sales, for the first two years trading.
The bonding levels are calculated to the nearest multiple of £5,000 and are subject to a minimum of £25,000.
Principal (Non-Licensable Bond)
As a principal, who organises non-licensable packages (two components of travel arrangements not including flights), you are required to have financial protection in place for your customers. As an ABTA member, ABTA can provide an ABTA bond for your non-licensable activity in order to satisfy legal requirements. This is usually 15% of gross turnover for new members, with a minimum of £5,000 although higher bonding levels will apply under certain conditions specified by ABTA.
In the event that you are acting as a principal, with single element sales (e.g. Accommodation only, ) the law does not require you to have financial protection in place for your customers, but you can choose to do so.