TAAI and TAFI urge Air India to review its decision on single GDS

After Air India announced offering its inventory solely through its select GDS,  Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) along with Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI) has urged the airline to review its decision. In a joint statement, the two associations said, “For these agencies including those which do not have access or frequently sell the airline seats on the GDS preferred by Air India, it is quite evident that selling Air India would not be an easy proposition and thus thay may opt for other airlines for their customers. For several established agencies, usage of GDS is governed by global agreements they have entered into and thus switching over or training their staff to get used to this limited GDS access will be a difficult option to cope with.’ On November 5, both the associations had a detailed discussion with the Air India Senior Management and conveyed that this decision of going exclusive on a GDS would be detrimental to the airline and this must be urgently reviewed. The associations are keen that Air India must not suffer any losses that would further damage the health of the airline. The senior management promised to revert in a day and on November 6, the associations received a phone call from them to inform that there will be no change in Air India’s stand.
The joint statement goes on to add, “Air India has been reeling under tremendous financial challenges and instead of finding ways to increase its seat sales via an easy access through GDS channels, this move by the national carrier is shocking. The response given by Air India is that this would save its distribution costs. It is a surprising decision since the airline wants to save hundred or two hundred rupees as distribution costs and lose thousands on loss of seat sale. In our opinion, the airline is threatened with a huge financial loss. As a national carrier, Air India has a wider social responsibility to protect and act in the interest of the Indian travellers and small and medium enterprises.”