ABTA has accused the trade of weakening its bargaining
position by not supporting carriers paying high commission.

The criticism comes after Iberia announced it will
copy Oneworld partner British Airways by reducing commission to just 1% from
January 1.

Although the Spanish flag carrier said the move was
part of a worldwide initiative, it follows a 1,400% rise in UK agents booking
Iberia operated flights, but issuing tickets with its codeshare partner BA.

ABTA aviation board chief Sandy MacPherson said: “When
we met Iberia we told them to keep commission at 4% because agents will support
them. That obviously hasn’t happened and for some reason agents are preferring
to ticket through BA, even though it’s an Iberia operated flight.”

He added: “How can we try to persuade airlines to keep
commission levels when the trade is not supporting them? It seriously weakens
our position.”