Ukraine International Airlines enacted a $9 per-segment surcharge on travel agency bookings, effective April 13, to "cover the growing fees of global distribution systems," the carrier confirmed. In conjunction, however, the airline offered a seemingly straightforward option for travel agencies to avoid additional expense.
The fee "is applied only to ticket sales agents that do not have a partnership agreement with UIA," the airline commented. "To conclude one, an agent needs to send a request to the UIA Head Office. The option is free of charge and available to any agent."
The airline did not immediately comment on what a partnership agreement with travel agencies entails.
In a statement provided this morning, Ukraine International noted that "passengers are guaranteed the lowest ticket fares" when they book on its website or through its contact centers and ticket offices. That low-fare guarantee also extends to partner agencies worldwide.
However, the airline's websites lists a variety of ticketing fees levied, including an $18 charge for international tickets purchased at its ticket offices and "different levels of fees" for tickets purchased on its website. Those go from zero to $10 per ticket, "depending on the route," according to the airline.
While GDS operators condemned Lufthansa Group's controversial surcharge on GDS bookings after it was announced in 2015, Amadeus, Sabre and Travelport did not reply to requests for comment this week on Ukraine International's surcharge.
Two French language travel publications, Voyages d'Affaires and TourMaG.com, picked up the news last week, publishing statements from the airline in French. According to a translation of those published statements, the airline is applying its new GDS surcharge using ATPCO's YQ category, which airlines use to file airline-imposed fees.
The privately held Ukrainian flag carrier hubs out of Kiev-adjacent Boryspil International Airport and primarily serves markets in Eastern and Western Europe, though intercontinental markets include New York John F. Kennedy International Airport and points in Asia and Africa.