IAAI aims to be on top with I-TOP

The portal aims to enable each association member to become a consolidatorthat will help them tide over the challenging market conditions.

HAZEL JAIN

In an effort to safeguard the interests of its members from the current challenging market conditions and present them with a new revenue model, the IATA Agents Association of India (IAAI) has announced that it will launch an exclusive portal that will enable each of its members to become a consolidator.

Titled ‘I-TOP’ which stands for Indian Travel Agents Own Portal, the program will be launched shortly. This was announced at its Annual General Body Meeting of IAAI Maharashtra State unit held in Mumbai recently. Biji Eapen, National President, IAAI National Board, said, “It is the first portal of its kind in the history of the aviation world created solely for the agents, by the agents. It has sophisticated technology and enhanced innovative processing modules. It has been enriched with facilities for the user to work as an individual or a consolidator and operate through GDS platforms and also the Internet to meet the present challenges and competitions in the Industry with B2B, B2C and B2D facilities including the new NDC process.”

Other issues discussed The team discussed other issues during the AGM that included the negative effect on all IATA agents of the government restriction on air travel and LTC wherein only Balmer Lawrie & Company and Ashoka Travels & Tours agents have been authoriSed to service all government and public sector undertakings, including nationalised banks.The team also brought to notice the ‘Fuel Surcharge’ that airlines continue to collect.

He said, “Though the actual required fuel cost is already been accounted in the base fare, airlines are still collecting an exorbitant amount as ‘Fuel Surcharge’ under the YQ tax code, which is neither reportable to IATA nor to any government, thereby depriving the Indian government of its rightful tax revenue and the travel agents of our legitimate agency commission.” Airline representatives who were present at this AGM included Oman Air, Air Arabia and GoAir.

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