IATA AGENTS ASSOCIATION OF INDIA (IAAI) –The Association for the Agents and By the Agents .
IAAI was founded in 2001 under challenging circumstances .When IATA decided to demand minimum Bank Guarantee of Rs. 20 Lakhs fromTravel agents, which threatened the existence of smaller IATA accredited agents in India, 35 agents across the country came together and under the guidance of Mr BijiEapen founded IAAI to safeguard the interests of smaller agents and for the betterment of travel fraternity.
The decision of IATA – BSP India was challenged before the Kerala Courts and was subsequently referred for arbitration to Travel Agency Commissioner, Area 3 based inNew Zealand ,who categorically found the minimum guarantee scheme unfair and directed IATA India , not to proceed with Minimum Bank Guarantee scheme.
The history was written as it was the first feather in IAAI’s success story for cause of travel agents. The achievement was welcomed by the entire travel agent fraternity in India. From then onwards, there has been no looking back and IAAI has grown in stature to become a dedicated Trade Association of IATA Accredited Passenger Sales Travel Agents with a membership of 958 as on December 2012, representing one third of the total travel industry in India.
IAAI (IATA AGENTS ASSOCIATION OF INDIA) was constituted under the Travancore –Cochin Literary, Scientific and Charitable Society RegistrationAct of 1955 (Sec.XII) of the Government of Kerala vide registration No.ER 544/2001 dated 06 June 2001 and has its registered head office in Cochin, Kerala.
IAAI’s presence across India is through its duly elected state committees which ensure the equal representation of the members at the National Management Committee for smooth operations. Elections to National and State Committees are held every 2 years as per our constitution.
IAAI has duly elected State Committees in major states of India ,viz in Kerala , Tamilnadu , Andhra Pradesh , Andaman & Nicobar Islands , West Bengal , Uttar Pradesh , Delhi andMaharashtra . IAAI has ad hoc Committee Chairmen in Rajasthan, Assam, Karnataka, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and Orissa and the State Committees in the above regions will be installed by the end of 2013.
IAAI ‘s mission is to protect and promote the interests of small and medium sized Travel Agents in India .
In 2008 when the 16 International Airlines and 3 Domestic Airlines unilaterally decided to introduce ZeroCommission and replace it with transaction fee model, IAAI stood its ground and advocated against the Transaction fee model, which is against the law of the land. IAAI raised this issue in the Parliament and was able to get the Domestic Airlines to reinstate commission in December 2008.
IAAI having trust in the law of the country, decided to file writ petitions in Hon. High Court of Keralaand successfully managed to getfavourableverdict from the above Court, directing DGCA to look into the issue. DGCA issued the historic Order on 05 March 2010 to all concerned Airlines, promulgating that Transaction fee is illegal, commission is an integral part of the air tariff as per Aircraft Act of 1934 and Aircraft Rules of 1937 and zero commission cannot be an effective rate of commission Though sadly, the concerned Airlines are yet to implement DGCA’s order till end of December 2012.
IAAI’s is pursuing its relentless struggle in various forums to restore the fundamental rights and aspirations of small and medium sized Travel Agents in India and strive for orderly and mutually beneficial co-existence of Principal Airlines, GDS and the vibrant Travel Agent community .
With the changing face of the industry in the recent past, IAAI also opened its membership to Non-IATA Travel agents , Tour Operators, State Tourism Boards in India and National Tourism Boards of various countries, Hotels, GDS companies and other stake holders of travel and tourism industry , thus making IAAI a true and comprehensive representation of the travel and tourism industry in India , with an all-encompassing vision, outlook and perspective.
IAAI is also a member of FICCI(Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry) and ICA(Indian Council of Arbitration).