Role and Objective of SAAE
General Sales Agents (G.S.A.) constitute one of the fundamental links in the aviation chain, in a distribution level. They offer high level services by representing sales of passenger and freight traffic, to foreign airlines, undertaking the cost of distribution and introduction of their products to the Greek market, through the travel agencies, aiming at attracting direct flights to Greek airports, with beneficial effects on Economy and Tourism, as well as mutually beneficial collaborations with respective Greek Airlines.
It must be clear that the GSA is an authorized representative of the airline and not principal, as a result it accommodates the airline’s interests without being the airline. The GSA shall not be held liable for any financial loss that might be caused from a travel agent to the airline as a result of unpaid amounts for sales via BSP – Billing Settlement Plan (IATA).
Impact on the national economy/growth
It goes without saying how important that role is in regards to the positive effect on national economy. New job positions – although few for the representatives – mainly in many sectors and activities that fall within travel: commerce, hotels, restaurants, tourism, transport services, revenue from airport charges and taxes, various suppliers of companies (catering) etc.
The greatest immediate advantage is that of the effect on the incoming tourism and currency. In the context of development, the growth of the E. Venizelos airport can be included with the creation of a passenger and cargo «HUB» from/to Middle & Far East, Arabian Gulf and Africa with Europe and North/South America, as well as growth by using regional airports.
REDUCING COST AND ATTRACTING NEW AIRLINES
GSA representation is without doubt a safe – without risks – cost effective solution for the presence of an airline in a new market. Reduced cost with experienced staff without insurance commitments and charges for the company, office use, and via the GSA, access to the market with the experience and knowledge that has and quick and efficient establishment of the company in the market. Many airlines that fly nowadays to Greece had and continue to have a GSA before beginning their operations. One of the most important roles of the GSA is attracting new airlines in order to represent them in the Greek market. A GSA detects and shows the market’s capabilities, the interest that may present for future plans and contributes with the appropriate arguments the speeding-up of the decision or the priority in its plans.
GROWTH OF THE PASSENGERS/CARGO AIRLINE MARKET
In the case of an OFF LINE but also ON LINE function of the airline, the GSA contributes significantly to the growth of the passenger & cargo market. Through the promotion of the route’s connectivity, the national destination and connections, the commercial contacts, with the pointing out of the market’s capabilities, as well as with cooperation suggestions with other airlines (codes share or interline agreements), all these contribute to the promotion of passengers and cargo. The ultimate objective of each GSA is the opening up of operations from/to our country (for Off Line companies).
CONTRIBUTION TO THE EXPORTS GROWTH
The direct or via connection air transport contributes to the exports growth of a country. A quick and safe transport with competitive fares (that the GSA monitors, updates and informs) has its contribution to exports. More airlines, greater competition but also more suggestions and solutions for cargo transport.
CONTRIBUTION TO THE GROWTH OF INCOMING TOURISM/NEW DESTINATIONS
Tourism has always been the heavy industry of our country. The global tourism growth is attributed to air transport. When growth is mentioned, one should see the opportunities that arise with the regional airports and the size of the arriving passengers is known like Salonika, Rhodes, Heraklio but also direct arrivals to various islands (Kos, Samos, Corfu, Zakinthos etc). Why not include the exploitation and the ORGANIZATION of other airports for further tourism growth. It’s a fact that each new line or additional route can only contribute to the enhancement of the product, namely tourism. The role of the GSA who participates in this effort is clear. The incoming tourism growth is consistent with the outbound tourism growth to new destinations for business or leisure travel.
One of the GSA’s tasks is the complete support of the airline in the performance of its work.
- Market Study: in regards to the possibilities of creating flights (off-line) or additional routes for (on-line), detecting clients and the means for attracting passengers (advertising, promotion, package creation). Detection and study of other markets, like professional, exhibitions, marines, students, educational, religious, sports etc.
- New destinations within Greece: The proposal for a new destination within Greece by means of a study for incoming tourism and also outbound passengers related to special markets.
- Pricing Policy: Constant monitoring of the pricing developments in the Greek and global market (marine fares) including proposals of possible adjustments or creation of appropriate requirements and conditions for the application of these fares.
- Competition Monitoring: Product monitoring of competitors in our market for the improvement of the current conditions and products (prices, packages, services, incentive agreements etc).
PROMOTION & SALES SUPPORT
The GSA’s competence is the sales support and promotion. This can be achieved:
- Technically, by establishing the company in a space with easy access to the public.
- By placing employees who have complete knowledge of the air sector.
- By promoting the company’s products to the travel agencies, the direct clients of the airlines.
- By promoting sales to the Greek market, creating sub-agents in the main cities or cooperating directly with all travel agencies.
- By promoting sales with direct contacts, companies, associations, organizations, social institutions etc.
- Creating outbound tourism packages for the main destinations of the company’s network.
- Creating accommodation packages in Greece (for foreign markets).
- Contact with Greek Airlines in the context of preparing agreements and cooperation negotiations.
- Handling of issues regarding the service of arriving passengers (information, confirmations or booking changes and assistance for lost luggage etc).
- Ground service support in the airports
Significant participation in issues of presence in the Greek market in terms of public relations and communication with:
- Greek Authorities (Civil Aviation, EOT, Police, Customs, Tax Authority, Embassy, Chambers etc).
- Greek and international press.
- Εl. Venizelos Airport