Tour operators and travel agents established in Ireland who are organisers of overseas travel packages with transport commencing in Ireland to destinations outside Ireland or Northern Ireland, are not obliged, but may choose, to be licensed by the Irish Aviation Authority for their tour operator or travel agency business which commences in Ireland.
Travel only sales for travel commencing in Ireland must be licensed.
Tour operators and travel agents established in Ireland who are organisers of packages or traders facilitating linked travel arrangements with transport offered for sale/sold in other Member States (excluding where it includes transport commences in Ireland) , cannot obtain a licence from the IAA for that element of their business.
This means that a tour operator or travel agent established in Ireland who organises packages or facilitates linked travel arrangements can (a) remain licensed for its tour operator or travel agency business for packages which commence in Ireland; or (b) choose to be unlicensed for all of its business (except travel only commencing in Ireland), provided it complies with the applicable insolvency protection arrangements.
Irish established businesses must put in place insolvency protection to cover such sales; this will generally be in the form of a bond or insurance.
If a licensed business becomes insolvent, the bond in place will be used to provide protection to passengers who commence their travel package in Ireland. Where the bond is insufficient to cover all relevant losses incurred by these passengers, recourse may be had to the available resources of the Travellers’ Protection Fund. This will only apply for sales with a departure from Ireland.
If a business is licensed, and has sales that are not covered by their licence, they need to put in place additional insolvency protection for these sales. This is in the form of insurance.
If a business chooses not to be licensed, then they need to put in place insolvency protection for all relevant sales. This is in the form of insurance.
A trader facilitating linked travel arrangements established in Ireland is required to have sufficient evidence of security in respect of all linked travel arrangements offered for sale/sold by the business in the EU (irrespective of the traveller’s place of residence, place of departure or where the package is sold). It must notify the Commission before carrying on such business in Ireland. The IAA will notify the business when it has received sufficient information.