IATO supports IAAI against transaction fees on air travellers

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New Delhi, Nov 3 (UNI) The Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) today came out in support of travel agents protesting against the transaction fees on air passengers.

''The transaction fee will put an unnecessary burden on the traveller, thus decreasing the demand for travel further,'' IATO President Vijay Thakur said in a statement.

This, he said, was all the more troublesome when the travel industry was passing through bad times due to global recession and economic slowdown in the major markets such as the US, the UK, Eurpoean countries and Japan, which contributed a major portion of tourist traffic to India.

''We are already seeing 15-20 per cent slowdown in travel business, and the coming season from November will be badly affected with future booking not coming forth,'' he added.

Travel Agents Association of India and Travel Agents Federation of India have refused to levy transaction fees of Rs 350-10,000 on air passengers in lieu of the commission that stands withdrawn from November 1.

Subhash Goyal, IATO Civil Aviation Committee, said the zero commission came into existence when the crude oil price was 132 dollar a barrel.

''Now that the price has come down to about 60 dollar a barrel and the ATF prices have also been reduced, all the airlines should re-introduce commission for the travel agents, otherwise millions of jobs and crores of rupees of tax money, which the Government receives on commission, will be lost,'' he said.

UNI YJ MP CS1455

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