The Scottish Passenger Agents’ Association has called on Travelport to stand firm on its negotiations with British Airways as the two struggle to reach an agreement.

The existing full content agreement between the GDS and airline expired on Tuesday but negotiations are still ongoing.

The carrier wrote to agents on Monday saying it will withdraw certain short haul economy fares from Travelport systems in the UK and levy a point-of-sale charge on short-haul fares unless a “mutually acceptable” deal can be reached. 

Kevin Thom, head of industry affairs for the SPAA, said: “Given that agents already have to pay additionally for BA’s content, both of these actions are totally unacceptable to our members. BA is showing its muscle but we’d urge Travelport to stand firm.

“If surcharges are imposed, our choice would be to absorb the extra costs, which we cannot afford to do, or pass them onto our customers, but this would create an even greater differential in cost between and the agency community. A true partnership provides equal opportunities for all parties involved and should disadvantage no-one.”

Thom urged BA to include any costs in its fares for passengers instead of passing them onto agent partners.

Travelport responded to BA’s threats by branding it “disruptive and unhelpful”  but pledged to continue discussions in good faith.

BA signed a new, full content agreement with GDS Amadeus earlier this year. The airline’s existing content agreement with Sabre expires early next year.