Travel agents lock horns with Emirates

Travel agents in the country have upped the ante against Emirates Airline, which slashed the travel commission from three to one per cent ahead of the main season starting from April.
Travel agents lock horns with Emirates

KOCHI: Travel agents in the country have upped the ante against Emirates Airline, which slashed the travel commission from three to one per cent ahead of the main season starting from April. The decision of the largest foreign airline operating in India has come as a rude jolt to agents who face substantial loss.
The IATA Agents’s Association of India’s Kerala  annual general body meeting has requested Emirates to retain the present level of commission at 3 per cent gross.
They have threatened to withdraw support to the airline and cease promoting its ancillary services if the demand is not met.

The impact of the decision would be greater as Emirates passenger traffic grew from 15,25,220 in 2009 to 27,48,533 in 2015-16, IATA Agents Association of India national president Biji Eapen told Express. With 183 schedules a week, the airline carried 6,51,831 passengers from India between October and December 2016. It has over 10 per cent market share of the country’s overseas air traffic.  

From April 1, the airline major is now providing agents just one per cent of the base fare of the ticket, which in normal circumstances would come to half the actual cost of the ticket. This is insufficient to meet their expenses, said chairman of Travel Agents Federation of India-Kerala Paulose K Mathew.
With the current move, Emirates will lose its grip as the agents will be forced to promote other airlines as there is no point in supporting a carrier which doesn’t give them any benefit.

Ruing the arbitrary decision, agents said they would have to pay 15 per cent service tax for the one per cent commission.
The DGCA in its 2010 order had stated the commission could not be replaced by transaction fees and the quantum of commission should be based on various commercial factors such as market conditions and cost of agents.

“If the carrier is not ready to relook its decision, the agents would be forced to pass on the burden to air passengers,” said E M Najeeb, south India regional chairman of Indian Association of Tour Operators.  
When contacted, Emirates officers refused to comment on the issue. However, industry experts say even Indian carriers like Air India and Jet Airways have cut the basic commission to one per cent. Some foreign airlines, too, pay only productivity bonus.

Related Stories

No stories found.

X
The New Indian Express
www.newindianexpress.com