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Last updateTue, 17 Mar 2015 2pm

#COMMISSIONS: Pakistan International Airlines ordered to pay £400K to UK agent

The High Court in London has ordered Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) to compensate two UK-based travel agencies after the Pakistani national carrier ceased commission payments for ticket sales, the BBC reports.

The court ruled that the airline should pay the agents about £400,000 in compensation for tickets sold since 2010.

The legal action against the airline was brought by ticketing agent Riaz Hussain Syed who said he had been asked by PIA asked him to charge passengers the extra money instead of getting the money from the airline.

Mr Syed told the BBC: "If the price printed on the ticket is £500 and I ask the passenger for £35 more, do you think he will pay me? PIA wanted us to charge them the money."

PIA spokesperson Mashood Tajwar said: "We lost this case for fuel surcharges, but we settled out of court with some of them."

Mr Syed, however, has disputed this. He is also chairman of the Association of Pakistan Travel Agents (APTA), which represents about 39 vendors across the UK.

He says many of his members wanted to go to court, but it would have been very expensive.

He said: "We had no choice. We wanted to settle out of court, but they told us to get a judgment order if we wanted to be paid what we thought we should be paid."

Mr Syed also said that more than £20m was owed to his members and that they would go back to the Royal Courts of Justice to get it.

The airline has been dogged by financial problems for years owing to what experts call “poor management” and “widespread” corruption and chronic overstaffing, with more than 18,000 staff on the payroll of a carrier with just 40 aircraft.

In the last financial year the company posted losses in excess of £45 million.

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