The Kenya Association of Travel Agents (KATA) and Kenya Airways (KQ) on Thursday Morning held their annual review meeting with Nairobi Travel Agents.
The meeting that was held at the Jacaranda Hotel in Westlands was convened to discuss various issues affecting the travel industry.
Speaking during the event through a recorded video, KQ Chief Commercial Officer (COO) Ms. Ursula Silling assured travel agents of the airline’s continued support.
“Our main interest is to improve the customer experience. We are taking steps in the right direction to become the preferred airline,” she said.
Also speaking during the event, KQ Sales Director Mr. Julius Thairu announced to the delight of members that the outstanding issue of the churning related ADMs had finally been resolved.
“The matter has been extensively discussed with both the management and the board and a settlement has been agreed as per discussions agreed last year. This has taken long but I am happy that it is now behind us,” he said.
He called upon the travel agents to support the airline in order to increase its domestic market share to at least 60 percent which is he global standard for well performing airlines.
Turning to the recently released half year results, he pointed out that despite recording an overall loss, the national carrier’s revenue had doubled from 6 percent to 12 percent. The loss, he added was mainly due to the high operational costs.
He stated that the New York route launch is one of the successful moves the airline has made and is performing exceedingly well.
“We are experiencing growth with the launch of more routes and the launch of auxiliary products,” he said.
Mr. Thairu stated that with support from the government, the airline will emerge from the turbulence. “Many regional carriers including Rwandair and Uganda Air are coming up because of the support they are receiving from their governments,” he said.
Also speaking during the event, Kenya Airways Regional Manager Ms. Rose Kiseli stated that the national carrier had organised trainings to sensitise travel agents and their ticketing staff to avoid ADM violations that result in penalties for the agents.
“We have noticed an increase in churning ADMs for Non-IATA agents and we will be seeking to introduce penalties like switching them off from the system,” she stated.
KATA Chairman Mr. Mohammed Wanyoike lauded the airline’s move to finally settle the issue on ADMs. He however regretted that the issue had taken too long to settle despite an agreement having been reached last year. He assured Kenya Airways of continued support from travel agents.
The Nairobi Travel agents were also given updates on NewGen ISS and the findings from a recent benchmark trip to Nigeria.