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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Travel Agents Key to Increased Airline Profits in 2013



MTA - Travel Agents Key to Increased Airline Profits in 2013

"2013 will not be a banner year for profitability but we should see some improvement on 2012" - IATA director general and chief executive Tony Tyler

  MTA Managing Director, Roy Merricks has reminded his aviation colleagues of the value travel agents represent to airlines and the impact they have on an airline's profitability.

Calling on all airlines to work with travel agents into the future – as opposed to against them - Mr Merricks described consultants as the most cost effective sales force any airline could ever wish for.

His comments follow those made last week by IATA director general and chief executive Tony Tyler who said his organisation was approaching 2013 with "guarded optimism" after a lack-lustre 2012.

Mr Merricks said that airline profitability is critical for the long-term stability and security of the travel industry.

"The last thing anyone wants to see is another Air Australia collapse," he said.

"But equally important, airlines need to understand they can't sell all of their tickets via the Internet and travel agents will always have a place in the ticketing process.

"It's not that surprising to us, that after testing the water with unsupported direct bookings on airline websites, many clients have come back for the experience and safety net an experienced travel agent provides.

"However, certain airlines unfortunately seem intent on tilting the playing field away from agents, offering consumers a small percentage saving and negating credit card charges for direct online bookings.

"But all that will ultimately do is add to further client confusion.

"What I would say to those airlines is, work with us and not against us - we are the most cost effective sales force you could ever have working with you and for you.

"Be fair and keep the playing field level… that's all we ask and we'll do the rest for you."


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