Travel agents knock on DGCA doors over fees

Written by Shweta Bhanot | Shaheen Mansuri | Mumbai | Updated: May 25 2010, 02:49am hrs
The two-year old tussle between travel agents and foreign airlines over the issue of zero commission shows no signs of abatement.

In a new development, travel agents have knocked at the door of the directorate general civil aviation (DGCA) once again, complaining about the foreign carriers not responding to DGCAs communication on the zero commission issue.

Talking to FE , Rajinder Rai, president of the Travel Agents Association of India, said, We have approached the DGCA saying that foreign airlines have not responded to us. The DGCA has said it will take up the issue with them. Foreign airlines have maintained their indifferent attitude and defied the ruling of DGCA.

The status quo over the issue continues and has not just caused inconvenience to customers, but also affected the business of many small to medium travel agents in the country. However, when contacted, a British Airways spokesperson, without divulging finer details on the issue said, We will continue to comply with the DGCA ruling.

The DGCA, in its March order, had said that all airlines that had gone in for zero commission should move back to the commission-based regime. It had categorically stated that as per rules, the DGCA cannot lay down the quantum of commission payable by airlines to agents. It is entirely up to the airlines to take a decision in this regard in consultation with agents, taking into account various commercial factors.

Following DGCA ruling in April, travel agents had announced that they will be tabling their demand to the 16 foreign airlines which had resorted to zero commission. Airlines, including Singapore Airlines, Lufthansa, Delta, KLM, Qatar Airways and British Airways, among others had resorted to zero commission despite the agents agitation.