Jet agrees to pay 3 percent commission to travel agents (Lead)December 8th, 2008 - 7:55 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Dec 8 (IANS) Jet Airways, the country’s leading private carrier, Monday agreed to pay 3 percent of airfare to travel agents as commission, and Kingfisher Airlines too is expected to sign a similar deal this week.”The commission scheme will come into effect immediately and will replace the transaction fee model recently introduced,” the airline said in a statement.
However, the company’s low-cost carrier JetLite will continue with the transaction fee system.
“We signed a deal with Jet Airways last (Sunday) night, and we will be paid 3 percent commission on air tickets that we book,” Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) president Rajender Rai told IANS Monday.
“We have also been assured by Kingfisher Airlines that things will be sorted out and we hope to sign a deal with them in next two-three days when (company chairman) Dr. Vijay Mallya returns from London,” Rai added.
Following this, travel agents across the country Monday resumed selling tickets of both Jet and Kingfisher.
However, Rai said he was sceptical of Air India following suit.
“It was Air India which first abolished agents’ commission on air tickets, which was 5 percent, and also forced other airlines to do so. But now when we have been able to convince the two major private airlines, we are very sceptical about Air India,” he added.
The state-owned Air India is India’s largest carrier, both in terms of revenues and fleet size.
Representatives of travel agents are now expected to meet Air India officials later this week to discuss the commission issue.
A spokesperson for Air India said a decision would be taken only after the meeting, even while refusing to share other details.
The civil aviation ministry had Dec 3 assured travel agents associations that it would take up their demand for restoration of the 5 percent agents commission that the various airlines had scrapped last month.
The travel agents’ representatives met Civil Aviation Secretary M. Madhavan Nambiar to discuss the ongoing impasse between the agents and the airlines over scrapping of the commission fee.
Six major organisations of agents Dec 1 decided to stop selling tickets of India’s leading private airline Jet Airways and JetLite. About 85 percent of airline bookings in India are done through travel agents, including online agencies.
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