July 1 - London-based BACA (Baltic Air Charter Association) has launched an escrow facility to provide a secure deposit for funds being paid in advance by customers for air charters.

"This will enable BACA brokers to offer their clients safeguarded advance payments for charter flights or programmes, and also for charter operators to have total reassurance that deposits made on their behalf are secure, even in the event of cancellation prior to flight date," claims Dick Gilbert, BACA chairman.

The facility, set up under associate company BACA Escrow Services, will act as a "safe, independent depository" for funds paid in advance of a flight, provided that both parties agree to its use in each case.

"Each transaction is individual, customised to the requirements of that particular operation," he says. "The actual process of moving funds in and out of the relevant accounts is administered by an independent accountant, so there is no risk to confidentiality."

BACA says it has set up the service in response to requests from members seeking to protect both themselves and their clients from the potential financial difficulties that may arise when an aircraft operator is unable to provide the service for which it has already been paid, partly or wholly.

Don't forget to read the heavy and project air cargo supplement which will appear in the July/August edition of HLPFI.

For more information: www.baca.org.uk/escrow