APJC to oversee IATA implementation

Kathmandu, July 7:

The Board of Airlines’ Representatives in Nepal (BARN) and Nepal Association of Tour and Travel Agents (NATTA) have agreed to form an Agency Programme Joint Council (APJC) to oversee the implementation of International Air Travel Association (IATA) provisions in Nepal.

The 14-member council will have seven representatives each from BARN and NATTA and it will choose a marketing director of NAC, who is also chairman of BARN, as its chairman. The APJC is being formed as per the provision of IATA.

“APJC will develop guidelines for the implementation of the provisions enforced by IATA. We will devise the guidelines keeping in view the law of the land and needs of travel agents,” NATTA president Ram Kaji Koney said.

Though e-ticketing was introduced in Nepal on July 1, Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) is yet to instal Common User Terminal Equipment (CUTE) system in Tribhuvan International Airport to facilitate passengers with e-tickets.

According to Nitin Tembulkar, IATA assistant manager services, the airline industry will globally save $3 billion after implementation of e-ticketing. “The processing charge of each paper ticket was around $10. Now the amount will be saved,” he added.

IATA has 74 accredited agents in Nepal and 24 more are currently in line for accreditation. Travel agents who furnish profit and loss account of the last six months and have at least two staff completing IATA certified course or Airlines Fare and Ticketing course can apply for IATA accreditation.

Only travel agents accredited with IATA can book tickets of international airlines flying to and from Kathmandu.

“APJC will also discuss developing Consolidated Bank Guarantee System (CBGS) under which IATA accredited agents can deposit bank guarantee for all airlines under IATA. They needn’t deposit separate bank guarantees for different airlines after CBGS is implemented,” Tembulkar said.

Small time travel agents who cannot afford IATA accreditation have been opposing the forced implementation of e-ticketing in Nepal. They are saying the forced implementation will drive them out of business.