IN A move that has brought relief to Indian travel consultants, the High Court of Karnataka has issued an interim order to suspend IATA's weekly Billing and Settlement Plan (BSP) that came into effect on January 1.
The court had heard a writ petition filed by legal counsels of the Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) and the Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI), and its order signals a revert to the earlier payment cycle that grants 15-day credit periods.
“This is major relief for the travel consultant community in India. IATA now cannot implement its new payment system until a decision on our writ petition comes out. The court realised that travel consultants are under distress and gave us some breathing time,” said Iqbal Mulla, president of TAAI.
He added the association will hold discussions with concerned parties to reach a settlement favourable to all.
Anil Kalsi, managing director of Ambe World Travels, called IATA’s proposed weekly BSP a “negative step”.
“(The BSP) seems to be the marginalisation of the IATA travel agency distribution channel. The weekly BSP allows no breathing time for consultants and poses a cash crunch situation for them.”
The weekly BSP was previously scheduled to take effect in November 2012 but was deferred to December 31, 2013 (TTG Asia e-Daily, August 13, 2012).
Implementation of the plan also met resistance in Sri Lanka (TTG Asia e-Daily, July 9, 2013), though IATA later clarified that while it “does not determine the remittance frequency”, the proposed credit cycle would reduce the financial burden on travel consultants (TTG Asia e-Daily, July 17, 2013).