Foreign airlines asked to review ‘zero commission’ to agents

March 12th, 2010 - 9:03 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, March 12 (IANS) The Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) Friday claimed a “major victory” after the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) issued directive asking foreign airlines to reconsider their two-year-old decision depriving agents of commission.
The DGCA, by its directive of March 5, has also set up a monitoring mechanism to ensure that all airlines comply with the provisions of its Rule 135. It urged all airlines to decide on the commission issue in consultation with the agents, said TAAI Western Region president Anup Kanuga here.

Some domestic and many foreign airlines had stopped giving commissions to the travel agents for the airline tickets booked through them in November 2008 and several others followed suit in April 2009, according to Kanuga.

The five percent commission on sale of each ticket was replaced by a transaction fee. At present, in view of the recessionary trends, the commission has been slashed to three percent, he added.

It had vigorously pursued the matter with the airlines and the DGCA for the past two years and finally achieved success, Kanuga said.

Though the TAAI has no grievances against the domestic carriers, it was fighting the issue with more than a dozen important foreign carriers which had stopped giving commissions to agents.

These include: KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, North West Airlines, Air France, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, Silk Air, Lufthansa German Airlines, Air Canada, Continental Airlines, Austrian Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and British Airways.

Kanuga said the DGCA said the system of zero commission was detrimental to the interest of the consumers.

“Since the DGCA has given it in the form of a directive, TAAI will now take up the issue with the foreign carriers once again. We hope that the issue should be amicably sorted out within a month,” he said.

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