EK is also on the brink of launching a new codeshare agreement with Airlink, Parambil said, which, he added, would extend the carrier’s reach in ‘second’ and ‘third-tier’ cities on Airlink’s network.
“The partnership with Airlink gives us access to most of the tourist points in the region. Customers can connect without any hassle. And, the number-one thing people are looking for is ease of travel,” he said.
Parambil committed to growing the airline’s agency business by retaining agency commission and other performance incentive agreements.
He said: “When we restarted we saw things going back to normal from a trade perspective. There were lots of agencies that had to downsize or agents who left the industry to do other things but the distribution mix is pretty much the same. We were so impressed to see the trade’s resilience and how it stood up against the pandemic. Agents stood their ground and we had very, very limited defaults. The size of the business may have reduced, but it is picking up.”
Parambil concluded: “Our strategy remains the same. We understand the value of agency business and we are seeing more customers going back to traditional travel agents.”