Turkish Airlines stops commissions

TURKISH Airlines will slash Indian travel consultants’ commissions from five per cent to none, with effect from January 1, 2012, much to the aghast of the trade.

The airline’s general manager (India) cited the examples of several European carriers, among 16 international airlines, who recently made similar moves.

The sudden decision has stunned travel professionals, especially when it is by an airline attempting to increase its penetration in the country. Turkish Airlines plans to start flights to Hyderabad, Kolkata and Chennai, as well as develop more business to Istanbul and other destinations beyond that.

Iqbal Mulla, president of the Travel Agents Association of India, said: “We supported Turkish Airlines with their expansion in India, and they are doing well now. We will try to convince them to withdraw this disappointing decision, if not the airline and agents will suffer severe setbacks.”

Separately, Gulf Air is celebrating its 40 years in India by offering an additional commission of 10 per cent to travel consultants for a 60-day period. Including current commissions, they can now earn a total of 12.7 per cent on basic fares.

Anju Desai, vice president of Mumbai-based HMA Travel, said: “This is the way an airline can encourage the agents who support them. This will spur the agents to promote Gulf Air in a big way, and perhaps enable them to keep this commission level for a longer period.”

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