Atab places 3 demands to secure air travel, aviation business

The agency highlights the insufficient flight options available for Dhaka to Jeddah and Medina route for pilgrims

The Association of Travel Agents of Bangladesh (Atab) has presented three demands to three different stakeholders with an aim to ensure a smooth air travel experience, and encourage agencies to conduct business in a responsible and efficient manner, without violating any regulations.

The stakeholders are Biman Bangladesh Airlines, China Southern Airlines, and Saudia Airlines. 

The travel agency's apex body wrote two letters to Biman's managing director and CEO, the country manager of Saudia Airlines to take effective steps to operate extra flights to accommodate and transport Umrah passengers from Bangladesh. 

The agency has highlighted the ongoing issue with the insufficient flight options available for the Dhaka to Jeddah and Medina route. 

They have suggested that adding more flights from March 1 to April 23 would alleviate the inconvenience experienced by Umrah pilgrims in booking their tickets. The agency also demanded a reasonable decrease in airfares.

Atab wrote a letter to China Southern Airlines on February 18, urging them to eliminate the additional cash deposit requirement imposed on travel agents, citing a violation of proper business policies by the airline. 

Atab criticized the airline's policy, saying: “It is totally illogical, unjustified and a big burden to the travel agencies.”

"As the travel agencies follow IATA bank guarantee policy, so there is no need to implement or illegally impose new trade policy by the china southern airline and force extra cash deposits from travel agents,” reads the letter signed by Atab secretary general Abdus Salam Aref. 

If the airline does not lift the policy it might hamper their business in Bangladesh and will tarnish the airline's reputation as well, the letter added. 

The travel association platform also called on the airline to ensure fair distribution of tickets among IATA-permitted travel agents, rather than facilitating ticket manipulation through ticket syndicates and causing the prices to increase.