EMIRATES has no plans to implement a zero per cent commission for travel agents across the region.
The airline last month requested travel agents in Bahrain not to add any service charges to their tickets sold to customers, Emirates’ area manager Mohammed Bin Ghannam told tradearabia.com.
Most the airlines regionally have scrapped the five per cent travel agents’ commission with effect from April 1, replaced by the service charge on all tickets issued by the airlines. This means customers could be paying two per cent more for their tickets.
Agents party to the scheme have each paid a BD5,000 () deposit, which they risk losing if they are caught discounting, said sources.
The decision to introduce a zero per cent commission in the Bahrain market was taken earlier this year by the Board of Airlines Representatives (BAR), which is chaired by national carrier Gulf Air.
The Association of Bahrain Travel and Tours Agents (Abtta) welcomed the decision, saying it would benefit both the airlines and the travel agents.
All the airlines, except two or three including Emirates, have agreed to this decision.
Ghannam said it was Emirates’ network wide decision not to follow a zero per cent commission practice.
Agreed Hamad Obaidalla, senior vice president commercial, Gulf, Middle East & Iran at Emirates, “Emirates has always worked closely with its travel trade partners in the region, striving to forge a win-win relationship. We fully recognise the integral role played by our partners and agents in out overall business strategy and continue to pay commissions in the Middle East, although it is not a standard industry practise anymore. We are closely monitoring our markets to ensure that we remain committed, yet competitive.”