Air travel agents' stir begins

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Tiruchirapalli, Aug 14 (UNI) Almost all the Travel agencies here downed their shutters today, as part of a nation wide protest against the airlines decision to scrap agents' commission.

Travel Agents Association of India, South Tamil Nadu Chapter Chairman R Venkatachalam, in a release here said the unilateral decision of the airlines to scrap commission effective from October one, would deprive travel agents of their livilihood.

Stating there were more than 3,000 International Air Transport Association (IATA) accredited agents in the country, who were serving the people, he said the airlines move would affect nearly 80 lakh families across the country.

Pointing out that travel agents account for more than 94 per cent of the air ticket sales, he said the airlines have progressively reduced the commission over the years.

In 2001, the agency commission was reduced to seven per cent from nine per cent and it was further slashed to five per cent in 2005. he added.

He said the assurance given by the airlines managements to the travel agents associations that a committee comprising members of representatives from airlines and travel agents associations would be constituted to redress the grievances of the agents had not been honoured.

UNI RV ROY AM RN1058

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