By Kevin Dixon
Package holidaymakers are to benefit from more financial protection against travel firms going under, the government has said.
The Air Travel Organisers' Licensing (Atol) scheme provides a safeguard for many holidays involving flights, but some holidays are not Atol protected.
Aviation minister Theresa Villiers has announced proposals that would create Atol protection for up to six million further holidays a year .
Mrs Villiers said: "As we move into the busy summer period, millions of us will be heading abroad on holiday. While the chances of a holiday company going under are thankfully very low, the impact on those affected can be significant.
"Recent years have highlighted not only how important financial protection is to holidaymakers, but also the fact that the Atol scheme is in urgent need of reform."
The Civil Aviation Authority - which runs the Atol scheme - has welcomed the proposals.
Chairman Dame Deirdre Hutton said: "They will bring clarity for consumers and put an end to the situation where people are left unsure to what extent their holidays are protected if their company fails.
"Today's announcement will empower consumers to make informed choices about their air holidays."