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Virgin Atlantic launches new Commission based scheme for UK Agents

Search ASIA Travel Tips .com 26 January 2004

Virgin Atlantic Airways announced today that it is to introduce Virgin Atlantic 'Colours', a ground breaking travel agent commission scheme from 1 May 2004. The new scheme retains a commission-based structure, which allows the airline to differentiate between and reward trade partners based on their support.

Virgin Atlantic 'Colours' introduces a banding criteria for agents. The bands - 'Platinum', 'Gold', 'Silver' and 'Red' are attributed to agents based on revenue and market share and determine the levels of commission and incentives they earn. 'Platinum' and 'Gold' agents will earn 7% for the sale of Economy tickets, 5% for Premium Economy and 4% for Upper Class. 'Silver' agents will earn 4% for the sale of all classes of ticket and 'Red' agents will earn 3%. Agents that do not apply to be a member of the scheme will be banded as 'Blue' and will receive 1% commission for the sale of all classes of ticket.

Paul Wait, General Manager of Sales, commented:

"There have been many changes in the industry recently with many of our rivals cutting their commission rates to 1% and failing to consult with trade bodies. 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 GBTA and ABTA.

"We have developed this unique commission scheme in order to maintain the investment with those trade partners that actively support the airline and to apply an appropriate level of support and remuneration to the remainder.

"I would urge all travel agents to become involved in Virgin Atlantic's innovative new scheme, which can not only bring huge rewards but also ensure a mutually beneficial relationship.

"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."

Sandy MacPherson, Chairman ABTA Aviation Committee commented:

"ABTA was closely involved with Virgin Atlantic in discussions over this new commission structure and we were pleased to have been given the opportunity to provide our own input. "Colours" will go a long way towards recognising agents who support the airline."

Philip Carlisle, Chief Executive of GBTA commented:

"GBTA welcomes the serious manner in which Virgin Atlantic consulted with trade bodies before introducing this innovative and unique approach to remunerating its TMCs and agents."

The agency benefits and commission are illustrated in this table.


Benefit Platinum Gold Silver Red


Base comm. % 4 / 5 / 7 4 / 5 / 7 4 / 4 / 4 3 / 3 / 3 1 / 1 / 1
SMA 1 Yes
SMA 2 Yes
Net fares access Yes Yes
M.I.S. Yes Yes
Training & Educationals Yes Yes
Booker Incentives Yes Yes Yes
Staff Travel Benefits Yes Yes Yes
Sales Support Access Yes Yes Yes
Account Management Yes Yes Yes Yes
Commission Incentive Yes Yes Yes Yes

This new structure applies to the UK only; existing arrangements remain for the rest of the world. The new Virgin Atlantic 'Colours' system is GDS specific and is presently applicable to Sabre and Galileo.

Agents will receive an information pack with full details on the Virgin Atlantic 'Colours' scheme on Friday 30th January. In order to take advantage of the new scheme, which will commence on 1 May 2004, agents need to discuss application with their Virgin Atlantic Account Manager. Agents that are not currently account managed need to apply by the end of March 2004. Agents that are not account managed and do not apply will be banded in the 'Blue' category.

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