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Virgin Atlantic retains commission-based remuneration scheme for UK Agents

Search ASIA Travel Tips .com 1 April 2005

Virgin Atlantic Airways has decided to retain its commission-based remuneration scheme ‘Virgin Atlantic Colours’ for travel agents in the UK. Virgin Atlantic has amended the base commission level and has adapted the criteria of the scheme to make it easier for agents to achieve a higher gold status. The new scheme will be effective from 1 July 2005. 

Paul Wait, General Manager of Sales, said, “Virgin Atlantic is pleased to be retaining a commission based scheme for agents and continues to reward agents focussing on performance. We faced the choice of matching our rivals and reducing commission levels to 0%. However, we still believe in the valuable contribution the travel trade makes and will instead offer a 2% commission for the sale of all classes of tickets for agents that participate in the Colours scheme. Furthermore the airline is committed to reinvesting funds in sales and marketing agreements and incentives for agents.

“Virgin Atlantic recognises the contribution that travel agents make to our commercial success and aims to reward them accordingly, in addition to fully consulting with GTMC and ABTA.

“Following the success of Colours which was introduced in May 2004, Virgin Atlantic will continue with the popular scheme which maintains the investment with those trade partners that actively support the airline and to apply an appropriate level of support and remuneration to the remainder. 

“In addition to base commission, there are numerous other benefits that agents can take advantage of which are determined by the band that they are in, including sales and marketing support, training and educationals, staff travel benefits and commission incentives.”

Doreen McKenzie, Chairman of ABTA's Aviation Committee commented, "Virgin Atlantic has always been supportive of agents and we welcome the fact that this new payment structure will still enable our members to sell Virgin Atlantic tickets on a commissionable basis.”

Andy Coles, Chairman of the Working Group of the Guild of Travel Management Companies added, “The GMTC welcomes the fact that the 'Colours' scheme continues to recognise the contribution of Travel Agents and Travel Management Companies in the distribution of Virgin Atlantic's products. Importantly, this move maintains for Virgin Atlantic the obligation on all airlines to pay remuneration to agents as specified in IATA's Passenger Sales Agency Agreement.”

Virgin Atlantic ‘Colours’ provides a banding criteria for agents. The bands – ‘Platinum’, ‘Gold’, ‘Silver’ and ‘Red’ are attributed to agents based on revenue and market share and determine incentives they earn. ‘Platinum’, ‘Gold’, ‘Silver’ and ‘Red’ agents will earn 2% commission for the sale of all classes of ticket and ‘Blue’ agents, which have not applied to be a member of the scheme, will receive 1% commission for the sale of all classes of ticket. (Previous commission rates ranged from 0% to 7%.)

‘Colours’ applies to the UK only; existing arrangements remain for the rest of the world.

See other recent news regarding: Virgin Atlantic, Airlines

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