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Travel agents still owe Rs 63 cr to Air India

Travel agents still owe Rs 63 cr to Air India
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Air India has faced defaults in payments due to travel agents in the past two years amounting to 85.65 crores said civil aviation minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju Pusapati in Parliament on Tuesday, while replying to a question on ‘duping of AI by travel agents’. For the year 2012-13 the amount which was payable is 13.37 crores, while for 2013-14 it has risen to 72.28 crores, said the minister in Rajya Sabha.

The government is looking into the matter and taking steps to recover default amounts and avoid occurrence of such incidents in future. ‘The amount which has been recovered for the years 2012-13 and 2013-14 is 22.53 crores,’ said the minister. This means the government still needs to recover 63.12 crores.

Looking into the matter the government and is making sure that ‘the agents access to Air India’s reservation system and to Bill Settlement Plan (BSP) is blocked in order to deny the agent from processing any refund of the tickets issued to them’. Also ‘negotiations are held by officers of Air India with the defaulting travel agents to resolve the issue and recover the dues. Termination of agents from International Air Transport Association (IATA) Bill Settlement Plan (BSP) is done subsequently,’ informed the minister. He added that steps being taken also involve, ‘IATA BSP is informed to invoke the Financial Insurance coverage. Also legal action is taken for recovery, wherever necessary.’

Topping the list of defaulters for 2013-14 is Aerojet Travel Services in Delhi which owed an amount of 59.58 crores out of which they have paid 22.42 crores. Meanwhile 37.16 still needs to be paid by them. Their branch in Bangaluru has to pay an amount of 1092491 rupees. Also for this year Shree Sati Travels Pvt Ltd in Mumbai owes nearly ten crores to AI.

For 2012-13 there have been no recovery till date by any of the travel agents.Saint Travel Services owes AI nearly 10 crores while Purshottam Bhagwan and Associates stationed from Goa owe 1.44 crores to Air India.
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