MSC Cruises has decided not to follow its competitors by introducing a flat rate of commission for agents.

The cruiseline announced it would opt for a variable commission rate of 10%-14% and is also scrapping its 5% online discount.

It said in a statement that the new commission levels have been set “according to season and product”.

MSC said the new rates “will remain competitive within the market”, adding that it will offer more marketing support, together with a “lucrative” overrides scheme.

The cruise line said it is setting up the new commission levels after completing commercial agreements with travel agents.

It also told agents that as part of the 2013 commercial agreements, they must stop discounting “as this is confusing customers and causing frustration among the trade”.

Giulio Libutti, MSC Cruises UK and Ireland managing director, said: “MSC Cruises will take appropriate action if agents continue to discount MSC Cruises product. I hope this move will bring more clarity and a level playing field to the market.”