Distinction in travel journalism
Is independent travel journalism important to you?
Click here to keep it independent

31 Aug, 2015

India’s IATA agents blast “foreign airlines” trying to “dictate terms in Indian skies”

The IATA Agents Association of India (IAAI) has sent out a circular claiming that Lufthansa’s upcoming Distribution Cost Charge is illegal, and will “drive the final nail in the Travel Agents’ coffin” if implemented on 1 September 2015.

Adopting a stridently nationalistic tone, the circular says, “IAAI will not allow any foreign airlines to dominate and dictate terms in the Indian skies and implement their vested policies on Indian soil.” It indirectly calls for a boycott of all the airlines that back the DCC and for the travelling public to support those airlines that work with travel agents.

The full text of the circular is reproduced below…

29th August 2015

To: All IATA Accredited Agents in India

Lufthansa Policy – The Last Resort….

Dear Colleagues,

All over the world, especially the Indian Travel community is eagerly awaiting for the final declaration of  LH’s proposal for Distribution Cost Charge (DCC) that has to become effective from 1st September, 2015.

Undoubtedly, from next week, agents or travelers have to pay an extra surcharge of 16 Euros or US$ 18 on each ticket purchased from anywhere other than the LH websites, service centers or airport ticket counters. Travel Organizations like Business Travel Coalition, UFTAA and many Travel Management Companies objected LH proposal as this will have negative implications for the competitive structure of the industry.

And in India, it will massively wipe out ordinary Travel Agents as no customer will pay an additional cost of Rs.1200 over and above the ticket fare. Since LH has dominance over the other Star Alliance Members, all of them may have to follow suit, including our National Carrier. This would mean that all airlines operating in India would eventually enforce similar surcharges. Thus, Lufthansa would be driving the final nail in the Travel Agents’ coffin.

Hence, IAAI Legal Counsel suggest following steps to curb such activities and save the Travel Agents Fraternity in India from this predicament:.

Step- 1: Under the purview and scope of Aircraft Rule 1937 and IATA Resolution 010 on Hierarchy of Rules Pertaining to the Sales Agency Programme, supported by historical orders obtained by IAAI through its lone fights, the DGCA order dated 05.03.2010 and MoCA Order dated 16.9.2013 will not allow LH to charge any additional amount or fees over and above the ticket fare.

Step -2 : Reminding Lufthansa to have their pricing mechanism to be necessarily within the definition and scope of tariff defined in our Aircraft Act and Rule. Though amount of surcharges, taxes and other charges over the ticket fare is an airline commercial decision, but should be within the ambit of our National Law.

Step -3: Today, we, the travel agents are under Res 818g but within the ambit of Res 878 GENERAL CONCURRENCE (illegally implemented by APJC-India) and hence Agents also have the flexibility and freedom to take his own decision.  It is in our common interest to take a firm decision to have the option to promote only the pro-agent airlines. India, we do have a network of flights and choices – alternative routes, convenient and comfortable wide/narrow body aircrafts, highly competitive fares with special offers and packages, quality services, precision handling with recorded OTP and enhanced transit facilities.  Possibly, you can even provide assured quality services. Convince and persuade your valued customers to FLY as a Proud Indian.

IAAI will not allow any foreign airlines to dominate and dictate terms in the Indian skies and implement their vested policies on Indian soil.

Unite with US and support US.

And, together, we can MAKE the CHANGE.


Biji Eapen, National President
D.L. Jekannathan, General Secretary
S. Saldanha, National Treasurer

Central Secretariat
IAAI Bhavan, 39/4012- K & L, Karimpatta Road, Pallimukku, Cochin-682 016, INDIA
Tel : +91 484 4022205 Email : secretary@iaai.in, hdq@iaai.in | www.iaai.in

For full details about the DCC, click here: https://www.lufthansaexperts.com/shared/files/lufthansa/public/mcms/folder_3330/file_104217.pdf