TAAI Telangana and AP Chapter opposes Air India’s move to single GDS for ticket sale
Hyderabad, December 5, 2018. TAAI--Travel Agents Association of India, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh Chapter opposes Air India’s move to single GDS for ticket sale. Disclosing this in a press note issued in city today, Ajay K Ramidi, who is a Chairman of TAAI Telangana and AP Chapter said we oppose Air India move to shift to single GDS platform.
We oppose the national air carrier to shift exclusively to a single global distribution service (GDS) platform and we urged the AI management not to discontinue the inventory from other existing GDS providers.
Last month, UK-based firm Travelport bagged the contract for Air India's domestic ticket distribution services replacing Amadeus.
A delegation led by Ajay K Ramidi along with Nagesh Pampati, its secretary; Imtiaz Qureshi, National Treasurer along with 500 members and travel agents met Raghu Babu, Station Head of AirIndia and other officials here in the city today at HACA Bhavan, Saifabad and submitted a letter to this effect. TAAI National body along with Travel Agents Federation of India(TAFI) has already submitted a letter to Mr. Pradeep Singh Kharola, Chairman and MD of Air India Ltd.
We are extremely perplexed and shocked by this decision by the Air India Management which is a highly disturbing aspect in Airline marketing and growth. For us, as industry stakeholders, Air India's success and growth is extremely important and when the management of Air India comes up with initiatives that can cause losses to all, then we are bound to bring up this matter before all concerned, they mentioned in that letter signed by R.Sunil Kumar and Praveen Chugh, Presidents of respective travel agents bodies and other industry leaders.
In our opinion, this is an absolutely wrong move and thus we have placed our objection before Air India, they stated.
They expressed their anguish why the industry leaders and the associations have not been consulted when our National Airline opts for such a mega initiative that poses a big threat to AirIndia's survival.
It is an "unwise decision". It should not be implemented. It would adversely impact the national carrier and also benefit the airline's competitors. It is not beneficial to anyone, they stated.
Transitioning into the another GDS is not easy and in cases, not possible at all maintain industry leaders.
It is practically impossible for travel agents to complete the migration process at such a short time. Air India gave 4th December as the last date to migrate. Air India, should have first ascertained or got out feedback about the percentage of selling happens through the GDS Channels in India and which GDS accounts for what percentage. Strangely, a GDS that connects a substantial percentage of agencies is eliminated from inventory access.
The association and industry leaders are not willing to subscribers to the views of Air India on the subject. Air India, as per the industry leaders cites 'saving on GDS costs' is the reason for shifting. The trade bodies argue that the loss on the sale of a seat implies much more loss compared to the savings on GDS distribution.
To save lesser costs(GDS Costs)--Air India is threatened with loss of revenue on reduced seat sale--this revenue is much higher to be the GDS cost, say travel agents.
Easy access to Air India's inventory and its availability, by the agencies in India and overseas is extremely important to enable the sales of Airline Inventory. Due to Air India's move, it will now be limited and it will negatively impact Airlines sales.
Some of the difficulties travel agencies and passengers face include removal of choice. Travel agencies have to depend on Air India thus it will lead to the monopolistic environment. Getting acquainted with the new platform will take a long time for the staff of travel agencies, who have been for ages using something different and user-friendly. Travel agencies are forced to invest more money as they backend operations such as back office accounting, financial accounting etc are integrated into GDS systems
The travel agencies are forced to invest in setting up new infrastructure as the new platform "Travelport" chosen by Air India doesn’t provide PCs etc. The new platform already announced its plans to reduce incentives or lower them. This will discourage travel agents to put in more efforts to sell Air India tickets. Aa result the national carrier will be a loss and that will be a loss to the nation as it is being stated carrier. Another grave problem travel trade encounter would be the safety of the passenger data. Travelport reservation system is managed by rival Indigo's group Company. The shift will curb a lot of freedom as automated tools like ticket changer, mini rules, seat maps, ancillaries won’t be available to the travel agents.
Because of these many other reasons, Ajay K Ramidi says, the entire travel fraternity opposes the shift. And demands Air India to roll-it-back immediately