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Agents slam ‘monopolistic’ 1time
Monday, 16 August 2010

IT is not a new argument – since 1time airlines launched direct flights to Zanzibar, various tour operators have been up in arms, complaining that the airline and its tour operator subsidiary, 1time Holidays, have created a monopoly in the market offering rates they are unable to compete with.

But now travel agents have climbed on to the bandwagon, with many claiming that 1time is undercutting them by selling Zanzibar at nett rates direct to the public.

“This is a long-standing problem and 1time is totally unprofessional with this practice,” says co-owner of corporate Travel Services, Inge Beadle. “Not only are they making it impossible for travel agents to sell ‘simply’ air tickets to Zanzibar but they are cutting the throat of all tour operators who promote IT packages to Zanzibar! These operators are unable to get availability on the direct flights, forcing them to route their clients via DAR or NBO – losing a lot of time en route and making their packages more expensive.

“1time has created a monopoly for themselves, which they are exploiting on the back of the rest of the travel industry. One should actually boycott them on all routes until they play fair again!”

But commercial director of 1time, Desmond O’Connor, doesn’t feel that the company has the monopoly in the market at all. “There are other operators in the industry selling Zanzibar that are doing fantastically well and, in fact, claim it to be one of their top destinations. A few years ago Zanzibar was not well known. 1time took the risk and decided to launch flights to the destination. If 1time didn’t make the move, someone else would have.”

Natasha Tippel

By : TNW
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