Mumbai: The Kerala high court on Monday issued orders to the ministry of civil aviation as well as aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation, or DGCA, to ensure payment of commission to travel agents.
The high court issued its order after hearing the Iata Agents Association of India, or IAAI, which has 600 members across the country and was fighting for reinstatement of 5% commission on air tickets. At least 16 or 72 international airlines operating in India earlier this year decided to cancel the commission and instead asked travel agents to charge customers directly per ticket. Travel agents all over the country had stopped selling tickets of Singapore Airlines since early 2009, as a first step of their protest.
“The high court has asked the ministry and DGCA to ensure that the Rule 135 (Tariff) of the Aircraft Rules, 1937 is upheld and to settle the issues in three months,” senior lawyer for IAAI K.R. Radhakrishnan Nair told Mint in a telephone conversation from Kochi. Biji Eapen, president of IAAI said the decision was a major victory for travel agents.and that foreign airlines need to abide by this country’s law. “We had approached the court on 15 July of this year. We have secured an order in the third hearing itself. This is a landmark victory for travel agents, who were denied their rightful remuneration,” Eapen told Min Representatives of foreign carriers were not immediately available for comment.
The carriers that discontinued the 55 commission include Air Canada, United Airlines Inc., Continental Airlines Inc., Air France, Northwest Airlines Corp., Finnair, Qatar Airways, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Japan Airlines Corp., British Airways Plc., American Airlines Inc., Austrian Airlines and Swiss International Air Lines Ltd, Singapore Airlines, and Lufthansa German Airlines.