Travel Agents on the verge of extinction

IAAI, Travel — By on July 26, 2013 at 2:27 pm

India under IATA Resolution 818g

Migration  to  818g  -  A  myth  or  truth?

iataIndian  Travel  Industry  is  still confused with conflicting interpreta- tions over  the IATA Resolution 818g. When  the  whole  Indian  aviation segment  is  governed  and  adminis- tered under Res 818g, certain vested interests  are  trying  to  establish  that they have   not accepted  same   and claim  that  India  is  still  under  810i only.   ATN  industry  expert  had  deeply analyzed  the migration process and opening  the  Pandora’s  Box  for  a better understanding of the facts and truths.    Passenger    Agency  Conference (PAConf)  is  the apex body of IATA members established by virtue of the provisions  for  the  conduct  of  the IATA  Traffic  Conferences  and  is responsible   for matters concerning the  relationships  between  airlines and  recognized  passenger  sales agents  and  other  intermediaries, Migration  to  818g  -  A  myth  or truth? under  the  IATA Agency programme.  The   Passenger Agency Conference  (PAConf/32) held  in Geneva on 22nd  and  23rd  October  2009  was  not  attended  by  any  Indian  delegates  from Air India or Jet Airways. Since  India  was  not  represented,    the  Conference  agreed  that  an  expiry  date of 31 May 2011 would be placed  on  Resolution  810i  and  the  APJC  must  come  forward  to  the  next  Conference with a proposal.

Hence,  administratively,  APJC  Meeting   No.29 held   on   14th Sept  2010  was  responsible  to  analyze  ,  formulate and streamline all aspects  related  to  the  IATA  agency  sales  programmes   in India   conducive to  the Indian specific requirements and  local  market conditions  and submit   such recommendations to Passenger  Agency Conference (PAConf/33)  in  October  2010  for  approval  and  implementation. The  game  plan  therefore,  started  from  14th  Sept  2010    (APJC/29  meet)

a)Agent    representatives,  though  came at 11AM, deliberately refused  to participate  in  the Meeting

b)Since agents refused  to participate,  Airlines  reconvened  as  an  Airline  Working  Group  (AWG)  under  chairmanship of national carrier.

c)The AWG  reviewed  local criteria  for governance  in India under 818g  and proposed to retain and continue  the present 14 membership with Air  India as Chairman  (India  specific).

One cannot but see through the well  planned  international  ploy  which  lead  to  the present calamity: ? In the absence of general consen- sus  with  agent’s  representatives,  APJC  Airline  Members  can  only  make  proposal  to  recommend  migration  to  818g  but  NOT  on  its  representation,  administration  or  governance ? AWG  proposals  cannot   be  recorded  under  APJC  Meeting,  as  both are exclusively distinct.  ? The  Law  mandates  to  record reasons  for  refusal  /absenteeism  – protest,  objection  or  charter  of demands.  (No  minutes  are  tabled, approved or ratified  in the next APJC Meetings). ? Re  818g,  IATA  globally  recom- mends  18  members  and  the Chairman  to  be  elected  amongst them. ? Section 1.1.4, Secretary, Chairman and  Members  misused,  and  over- stepped  their authority.  Preparation  of  the  Report,  review, approval  and  submissions  were  all done  within  one  day.  on  Thursday 14th  Sept  2010  itself  by  Council Chai rman  and  submi t ted  to PAConf/33 on Thursday The Airline working  group  (AWG) meeting  held  on  14th  September masked as   APJC/29 and  the report was   prepared,  reviewed,  approved by Council Chairman and submitted to PAConf/33 on Thursday 14th Sept 2010  it  self  .  Miraculous  -  all processing  completed  within  one  day itself.   PAConf/33 circulated  this  report  in  the second  transmittal  under Agenda  Item G5  on  17th  Sept  2010  to  all Member airlines worldwide.avh2

The  failure  of  TAAI  &  TAFI,  (inten- tional  or  otherwise),  to  challenge  the illegalities and  irregularities helped  the vested  interests  to a  smooth passage  for:

  •  Clearance  to migrate  to 818g
  • Retained  same 14 members  in APJC with Chairman as Air  India
  • Kept   IAAI out of APJC as desired by certain airlines and  IATA
  • Stringent financial criteria under 800f (default) beneficial  to big players

Blanket    permit  to weekly  payment system  According to the reports , Travel Agents Federation  (TAFI) was  represented  by Ajay Prakash,  Promod  Kohli,  P.Sampath Kumar    and  Pradip Lulla  and   Travel Agents  Association  (TAAI)  by  Sunil Kumar  &  Iqbal  Mulla.  The  industry leaders came at 11 AM, but  refused  to attend  the  29th  APJC  Meeting  as TAFI could not  find  the approved Chairman  or  any  sitting Members, whereas  TAAI  noticed  certain technicalities  From   IATA side, Mr. Sunil Chopra,  Asst Director- IDFS India & Nepal,  in  a  written  letter  dated  4th  July  2011,had confirmed  to  IAAI  that  818g recommendations are made by  APJC-India  to  the  33rd  Passenger  Agency Conference was a culmina- tion of protracted consultation with  airline and agency representatives at  APJC  India meetings. The  relevant  extract  from Mr.  Chopra’s  letter  is  seen above.

Under  818g,  frequency  changes  to  Reporting and Remittance are purely  administered  and  controlled  by  the  local APJC  .Hence,  any  changes  in  frequency or its  reversal vested with  the APJC as per Res 800x.   Reference  to  Hon  High  Court  of  Tamil Nadu on weekly payment case  against  IATA  under  CS-32/2012, Indian  judiciary  does  not  have  any  jurisdiction  in  IATA  BSB  payment  system  and  recommended  to  refer  IATA Arbitrator Recently  on  17th  July  2013,  IATA had  re-confirmed  to Sri Lanka  that changes  to  the  BSP  agency programme  operated  around  the world has to be proposed by the local Agency  Program  Joint  Council (APJC)  and  approved  by  the Passenger  Agency  Conference (PAConf). APJC comprises an equal number of representatives  from  both  airlines and    agents,  and  is  authorized  to consider  all  aspects  of  the  agency programme and make recommenda- tions  to PAConf. Res  818g  globally  recommends  18 members and Chairman to be elected from  them.  It is observed that India still holding and  continuing  14  representatives with  Air  India  as  the    permanent Chairman to deliberately block entry of the third national association, who are  vigorously  fighting  to  retain commission and fortnightly payment system  in  India.

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