Without advising its agents, Ethiopian Airlines quietly instructed IATA to remove ticketing authority for all GoLite accredited agents in South Africa last Thursday.
Neither IATA nor ET have given the agents or ASATA any clarity on what motivated the airline to take such a drastic and immediate step, other than a vague comment around it costing the airline money with no guarantee.
ASATA believes the ability of an airline to unilaterally withdraw from IATA GoLite is unacceptable. IATA made a clear promise to the agency community that the GoLite product would be a mirror image of the IATA agency programme, and that it would in no way differ from the other agency accreditation options. This includes the ability to issue tickets on all carriers in the BSP to which an agency is attached.
We have taken the matter up with IATA and have demanded a full investigation. We expect IATA to urgently review the supposed concerns raised by ET that have resulted in this drastic decision and to immediately start working on a solution.