AI keeping agents at bay?

Rajiv Bansal, CMD, Air India (AI), said the airline would move to a more web-based than agent-based sales model. AI’s recent ban on agents from selling select sectors has resulted in uproar. TRAVTALK gets the trade to speak.

Pradip Lulla,Acting President & VP, TAFI

While Air India has restricted Indian travel agents from selling inventory on select sectors like Rome, Toronto and Vancouver, it has allowed agents in Europe, Canada and the USA to sell seats on the same routes to India and vice versa. There seems to be a dichotomy of policy and a misuse of their commercial authority.Air India has completely ignored the support that Indian agents have been offering to them on their weak sectors to help increase the seat-factor percentage. MoCA and the CMD are unaware that this is harming AI.

Jyoti Mayal, President, TAAI

This has created a wrong perception amongst customers to not book through accredited agents. Being IATA-accredited agents and Air India being an IATA BSP-concurrent airline as well as the national carrier must ensure that the trade and agents are protected and assisted. Air India does not connect with us to support and assist in booking challenges. We have received assurance from the MoCA Secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola that Air India and all Indian carriers shall assist and facilitate our member travel agents.

Subhash Goyal, Secretary General, FAITH

I am surprised and amazed at the role Air India has now started playing because this is the time when all IATA agents and tour operators need its help. Not only are they holding on to refunds due to agents and tour operators, they are also not allowing them to sell flights. Now that’s a very monopolistic tendency and it will not be tolerated. I hope that good sense will prevail. When the country opens up, and if today Air India does not stand with agents, the agents will not stand with Air India.

Inputs by Nisha Verma




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