Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Travel agents claim SQ is losing US$1 million a day in standoff

Tuesday, 07 April 2009
e-Travel Blackboard

Indian travel agent associations are claiming that Singapore Airlines is currently losing some US$1 million a day in the current stalemate on zero commissions, despite some agencies still selling their tickets.

One of the associations participating in the boycott against the airline, the Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) has said publicly that it estimates that Singapore has lost INR5 billion (US$100 million) since the standoff began three months ago.

“They managed to sell some tickets because of certain blacksheep in the industry who continue to sell the carrier’s tickets for zero commission,” Harkripal Singh, TAAI spokesperson was quoted as saying in the local paper Financial Chronicle.

“The losses will increase if the agitation continues,” he warns.

The six associations of Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI), IATA Agents Association of India (IAAI), Association of Domestic Tour Operators in India (ADTOI), Enterprising Travel Association of India (ETAA), and TAAI, have boycotted Singapore Airlines since the end of December last year.

From the end of January this year, the associations pledged that they would stop promoting Singapore as a travel destination in order to pressure the government to act on Singapore Airlines.

The moves to boycott Singapore Airlines sales came after a three week boycott of domestic carrier Jet Airways for its zero commission policy, which resulted in the reinstatement of a 3% commission rate for agents.

Singapore Airlines has only offered a 1% commission for Indian agents, but there is a time restriction of 6 months, after which it would revert back to the zero commission level.

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