Local airline Fly540 could be headed for tough times after the International Association of Travel Agents (IATA) suspended it from participating it in its automated ticketing system.
In a December 30 letter, IATA directed accredited travel agents to suspend all Fly540 ticketing activities.
The suspension means that travel agents cannot sell the carrier’s tickets or process any billings or refunds through IATA’s system.
“IATA has suspended Fly540 with immediate effect… billing and settlement plan (BSP) travel agents must immediately suspend all ticketing activities on behalf of Fly540, including the use of automated systems for processing refunds or other transactions on behalf of Fly540,” the letter said.
“(The) agents must immediately stop using Fly540’s name and numeric code as a ticketing airline.”
The association did not disclose the reason for suspending the carrier but cited guidelines relating to failure to honour payments owed to agents through the billing and settlement plan.
Other factors that may lead to IATA suspending an airline from using the BSP system, according to the association, include when an airline is experiencing financial difficulties and has filed for bankruptcy.
The aviation industry is among the sectors hard hit by Covid-19. Besides the measures introduced by countries to tame the pandemic, the industry has seen lack of consumer confidence even after the reopening of airspace.