AFTA calls for levy(1)

7 December 2001

SYDNEY - The Australian Federation of Travel Agents has joined the call for a new levy on all travel transactions to fund compensation for customers when travel agencies or airlines go out of business.

AFTA's move comes as Australia's Travel Compensation Fund - which provides relief to customers of member travel agents - begins to make the first payments to those who lost out when Ansett collapsed. The fund has enough money to meet only 40 percent of individual claims.

AFTA chairman Ian Carew-Reid says the TCF needed more funds and a levy on all transactions would allow more people to be covered in the event of the collapse of an airline or travel company.

Traveland, once owned by Ansett, was sold this week for the second time in two months but only the company's 225 franchised stores were involved in the sale.

Many franchisees are believed to be unhappy that they will have to stick to their agreements with the previous owners and remain with the Traveland brand.

They believe the brand has been severely damaged by the events of the past two months and are looking at opportunities to switch to other travel groups.

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