Monday, December 22, 2008: Foreign airlines have come under fire from angry travel agents that want their cut of commission.
Travel agents had previously received 5 percent commission from international airlines including Lufthansa, Qatar Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Air France, United, Continental, KLM and Japan Airlines.
However, since November, the aforementioned airlines stopped paying the 5 percent cut. This has led to travel agents presenting an ultimatum to airlines that it be re-introduced or prepare for a boycott starting January.
“We will take action against foreign carriers if they don’t bring back the previous practice of paying 5% commission to us” said Rajii Rai, President of Travel Agents’ Association of India (TAAI).
There was no resolve last week as travel agents met with Singapore Airlines according to The Economic Times. However, the live mint reported a battle was won as Emirates agreed on Tuesday to continue paying the 5 percent commission through April 2009.
Agents also took on Air India last week, demanding them to pay a 3% commission in line with other domestic carriers.
There has been no word back from the National Aviation Co of India (Nacil), which runs Air India, despite Nacil saying it would get back to travel agents by Friday.
“We have met the civil aviation minister Praful Patel. We understand that the government will ask Air India to give commission to travel agents” said Rai.
Whether the minister will fight for travel agents is bleak though, as the minister recently said the payment of commission was a commercial issue between travel agencies and airlines.