Millennium Post

Travel agents oppose IATA move

The Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) has expressed concern over the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) move to remit ticket sale proceeds to airlines every week, saying it would cripple agents financially.

According to TAAI, the move is going to affect travel agents adversely, as they extend a credit up to three months to big corporate accounts, which constitutes nearly 60 per cent of the tickteing business.

IATA recently directed travel agents to remit the ticket sale proceeds to airlines every week, instead of the current fortnightly span.

TAAI president Iqbal Mulla said the airlines have also decided to impose a cost for using a credit card and henceforth, if customers desire to pay for airline tickets with their credit cards, they have to pay two per cent more than the ticket cost.

‘As it is, our commissions have been reduced considerably in the last few years. We operate on meager margins. The whole industry runs on credit. Reduction in payments cycle could be a death blow for small time agents,’ Mulla said. He said the TAAI and Travel Agents Federation of India jointly filed a petition in Karnataka High Court seeking ban on the IATA directive.

A resolution to change the billing cycle in India was approved in October last year at an IATA conference in Singapore attended by all member airlines.
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