AIRLINE operators in Bahrain has decided to slash travel agency commission from seven per cent to five per cent. Travel agents say they will be hard hit by the move.
The current move follows a similar action two years ago, when commissions were reduced from nine per cent to seven per cent.
The latest decision, taken at a meeting of the Board of Airline Representatives (BAR) at the Gulf Hotel, is expected to take effect on October 15. The meeting was attended by representatives of 17 airlines operating through Bahrain. It was a collective and unanimous decision, the report said. Airlines are struggling and must improve their revenue, they said. “It was, therefore, decided to reduce the commission from seven per cent to five per cent. Airlines can thus retain some more revenue,” the airlines said. “Travel agents will be informed immediately. In Oman, the airlines have already reduced the commission to five per cent and other Gulf countries have also decided to follow suit.”
The Association of Bahrain Travel and Tours Agents (Abtta) said such a decision would have a negative impact on Bahrain’s travel market. “Though we are the travel industry’s official body, we have not been consulted by the airlines before taking such drastic decision, which will have a far-reaching impact,” Abtta chairman Mohammed Al A’ali said. “It was just two years ago that our commission was reduced from nine per cent to seven per cent. The new decision will reduce our income by another 25 per cent. If the airlines consider us as their partners, such decisions should not have been taken unilaterally.”