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Air Canada Hikes Commissions to 7 Percent

June 10, 2009 By: George Dooley

Air Canada announced that it has increased its commission for Canadian travel agents to sell Tango fares from 4 percent to 7 percent for all flights operated within Canada by Air Canada, Jazz and its commercial partners. On June 4, Air Canada introduced commissions for
Canadian travel agents
. Tango fares are widely sold by Canadian agents.

"Air Canada is committed to rewarding the support of Canadian travel agents through a competitive commission structure," said Ben Smith, Air Canada's executive vice president and Chief Commercial Officer. "Industry reaction from our travel partners has been very positive since the introduction last week of a commission to sell Air Canada's domestic Tango fares. We will continue to monitor the marketplace closely, and we will continue to make adjustments as necessary to ensure we maintain our competitive position with our valued travel partners."

In addition to the commissions, in recognition of the essential role the travel industry plays in the airline's distribution network, Air Canada launched a Bonus Aeroplan Miles promotion available to new Aeroplan members enrolled by their travel agent through the airline's agency portal. New Aeroplan members enrolled by their travel agent until July 31 will automatically receive 1,000 Aeroplan Bonus Miles, plus Double Aeroplan Miles for the first two flights if they travel before December 31.

ARTA Canada— the strategic partner of ARTA in the U.S.—  said Air Canada's additional commission increase on Tango fares to 7 percent from 4 percent is a further indication that Air Canada “intends to keep the airline and agents operating in tandem in this ever-changing, competitive environment,” according to ARTA Canada President Bruce Bishins.

“Not only did Air Canada continue its commission program status quo, but it introduced the first-ever remuneration of its Tango product, the most widely sold fare product by agents in Canada," Bishins said. "Add to that the agency incentives involving Aeroplan, and Air Canada more than proved its willingness to strengthen its partnership with travel agents.”

As the remuneration of Canadian travel agents by Canada's two major airlines seems to be an ongoing, still-developing matter, ARTA Canada said it will continue to reach out and support any carrier which offers improved commission programs for its members. “To date, that carrier is clearly Air Canada, and ARTA Canada will continue its efforts to influence Air Canada to further enhance its relationship with travel agencies,” Bishins said. "Air Canada has earned our support, and I will challenge our membership to continually prove that such support is more than just words.”

ARTA Canada is the strategic partner in Canada of the U.S.-based Association of Retail Travel Agents (ARTA). ARTA Canada is the Canadian member of UFTAA, the United Federation of Travel Agents' Associations.


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