Air France to end travel agent commissions

8th July 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, July 7 (AFP) - Air France is to stop paying commissions to travel agents selling tickets on its planes from April 1 next year in a move to match a practice introduced by US and other airlines to encourage Internet reservations.

PARIS, July 7 (AFP) - Air France is to stop paying commissions to travel agents selling tickets on its planes from April 1 next year in a move to match a practice introduced by US and other airlines to encourage Internet reservations.

Sources close to negotiations between the company and France's national association of travel agents, SNAV, said Wednesday the decision will be formally announced in coming days.

The move will produce an upheaval in the sector. Currently, three out of four Air France tickets are sold through travel agents, which up to now picked up a seven percent commission.

In a bid to assuage the anger of the agents, the airline plans to pay an annual "bonus" tied to the number of tickets sold.

The change comes as France experiences a boom in online travel websites and Air France struggles to maintain market share on short-haul routes from low-cost rivals which have sprung up.

One national travel agency group, Tourcom, has threatened to sue Air France over the move, saying it is anti-competitive and will lead to the bankruptcy of 800 of its 5,200 agencies.

 

© AFP

 

Subject: French news

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