The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has appointed an individual who’ll help increase engagement with agents. Amitabh Khosla, Country Director — India, tells us more.
Q How do you see the relationship between airlines and agents develop in India?
The airline-agent relationship is fundamentally a commercial relationship. Given the bullish outlook for growth in passenger travel in India, coupled with the innovations that the travel industry is seeing in the distribution space, we are sure that the airlines and the travel agents will be able to strengthen their existing strong relationship further.
Q Lately, there have been a lot of developments from the airlines side that is having an adverse effect on the travel agents. Is IATA taking any steps to protect its members?
IATA is not involved in the setting of commissions airlines pay to travel agents. This is a commercial decision by individual airlines.
Q Could you elaborate on what IATA is doing for IATA agents in India?
In 2018, we will be rolling out the New Generation Industry Settlement Systems (NewGen ISS) program to India. With NewGen ISS, the agency community will have more options to choose the model of accreditation that fits their business profile, risk management and payment methods to the Billing and Settlement Plan (BSP). This will provide more options for agents from the current one-size-fits-all model. Moreover, to strengthen our relationship with the agency community, we have recently appointed Rodney D’Cruz as Assistant Director – Passenger and Cargo Services, this April. He will be based in Mumbai. Many would know him from his time with the IATA India team before he took on a position in IATA’s regional office in Singapore. He will continue to increase our engagement with the agency community.