Special Correspondent

MUMBAI: The Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) on Tuesday said all travel agents had decided to surrender their capping letters of Singapore Airlines

The TAAI office-bearers will surrender the letters to the Singapore Airlines’ offices on April 8, followed by all other members during the course of the week.

A TAAI statement said the other members had submitted the capping letters to their TAAI chapters.

A capping letter is a document given by the airlines authorising an agent to book the airlines’ tickets. No travel agent in the country will now book Singapore Airlines ticket.

TAAI has over 2,300 active allied and associate members, comprising IATA accredited travel agencies, airlines and general sales agencies, hotels and tour operators.

The 100-day standoff between TAAI and Singapore Airlines since December 29, 2008, followed the airlines imposing a “Zero Commission” fee structure for the agents. Unlike in developed markets where Internet booking accounts for a large chunk of ticket booking, about 85 per cent of the tickets booked in India are through travel agents.

While 3-4 per cent book through the Internet for international travel, a little over 15 per cent use the Net for domestic travel bookings.

The Indian agents will avoid Singapore Airlines bookings till it reverted to the commission structure. It is estimated that the impact of the standoff on the airline has already resulted in loss of several hundred crores of business. Vijay Mohan Rai, Chairman, Communications, TAAI, told The Hindu that “it is estimated that Singapore Airlines is losing around $1 million worth of business per day because of the boycott.”