Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has claimed that it had never entered into an agreement with the Association of Pakistan Travel Agents (APTA) entitling the agents to a two per cent commission.
While acknowledging PIA’s association with the APTA and the sales contribution made by the latter’s members over a period of almost three decades, the national carrier stressed that no such agreement was established during the frequent discussions that have taken place, according to a press release issued by the airline.
PIA has said that it will only liaise with third parties such as APTA with a view of enhancing customer service and is under no contractual obligation to pay any commissions to APTA, which is an umbrella organisation for Pakistani travel agents based in the UK. Travel agents’ incentive is a normal, industry-wide practice, which is entirely discretionary and an airline may or may not offer incentives to its agents depending on its sales policies and prevailing local laws, said the press release. Accordingly, PIA claims that its practice has been to disburse incentives in each of its sales territories based on incentive schemes that are altered and revised periodically to suit business needs and ensure compliance with local laws.
The most recent meetings between PIA and APTA were held in late 2008 and early 2009 where it was decided that PIA would consider the payment of an incentive to its UK agents for the period September 2008-August 2009 on the condition that APTA members collectively meet a sales target of £120 million during that period, according to the press release. However, PIA said that sales during that period were only £89.57 million and APTA members did not qualify for incentives.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 17th, 2010.
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