African air travel to cost more as Air France prepares to apply “zero commission” policy

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14 African countries, represented by The Federation of Travel Agencies, openly expressed their non-acceptance of an Air France “zero commission” deadline from January 2009, to be introduced mainly in the organisation’s member countries.

Aime Sene chairman of the Federation said in a news conference Monday that the new policy would lead to a sharp fall in travel agency’s earnings and might even trigger bankruptcy.

“The introduction of zero commission for low income African countries where economic realities are different from those in developed countries would be a way to kill off travel agencies,” he added.

Commission of the six to seven per cent paid to travel agencies on the sale of air tickets will be stopped through the introduction of “Zero commission”.

This system could mean that passengers will have to get ready to dip deeper into their pockets for tickets in both domestic and international sectors while governments stand to lose out on service tax.

To mop up for revenue losses, agents are likely to transfer the additional costs to the passengers through the introduction of ticket transaction fees.

Bulk buyers who also benefit from the commission through a system of agent to buyer commission, will see their commissions scrapped.

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