Viva Air Colombia and Viva Air Peru Join ARC
Viva Air Colombia (VH/641) and Viva Air Peru (VV/343) are the two airlines of Viva Air, a pioneer group of low-cost carriers in South America, created by Irelandia Aviation. The airlines will join ARC effective with sales on April 27, 2020 (PED 05/03/2020).
Operating from Columbia and Peru, Viva Air group is one of the fastest growing LCCs in the region. Transporting as a Group more than 6 million passengers in 2019, operates 25 destinations in three markets: 13 in Colombia, 11 in Peru and 1 in the United States.
The LCC airlines operate more than 3,100 flights per month and around 40,600 flights a year. With a fleet of 22 aircraft at the moment, the number of destinations will keep growing over the coming years thanks to the investment in 50 new A320 aircrafts. Viva Air has already received 15 out of the 50 new aircraft, and the total new fleet will be complete by 2023.
For inquiries, reservations, or sales information, please send us an email to: email@example.com
Mastercard and Visa Publish Guidance for COVID-19-Related Debit Memos and Chargebacks
ARC has been in close contact with various card brands and working with a core group of travel agencies and airlines, including the Debit Memo Working Group, to develop mitigation strategies for the increasing number of chargebacks and debit memos resulting from this unprecedented period.
Mastercard and Visa have published guidance to help merchants manage disputes and chargebacks through COVID-19, which are now available on ARC’s website:
Additionally, ARC has updated its blog post and FAQs to provide additional information regarding this, including a clarification that, while ARC itself will not take action on certain COVID-19-related debit memos, airlines may still issue and independently enforce all types of agency debit memos.
- Managing commission-related debit memos
- How to use the “COVID19” agency reason code
- Agency liability around debit memos
Important Reminders for Travel Agencies
As the global travel community adapts to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, ARC recognizes the enormous pressures facing our industry and customers. This is an unprecedented time and is transforming our marketplace.
This is a reminder of the changes currently in effect for ARC-accredited agencies, as well as the resources ARC has made available.
- Settlement Schedule Change: ARC’s draft and disbursement day has changed from Friday, five days after the sales week closes, to the following Wednesday, 10 days after the sales week closes. This change went into effect for PED 03/29/20 and will repeat weekly until further notice. A visual representation of the changes outlined above can be found here, and a list of FAQs about this process is available here.
- Airline Refund Information: Some airlines have informed ARC that they are inhibiting refunds in the GDSs. Additionally, some airlines that were previously managing refunds directly have now reinstated refunds in the GDSs. As ARC receives this information from airlines, it will update its Airline Refund and Exchange Information page as a resource for agencies. This list includes applicable contact information where available.
- IAR Error Messages: ARC has added a new error message within IAR that reads, "ERROR – DO NOT VOID – Transaction temporarily restricted by carrier – visit www2.arccorp.com/refunds for more info." If your agency sees this error associated with any transactions, ARC asks that the agency not attempt to void these transactions. When these errors do occur, they will roll over to the next PED, or ARC’s Customer Care Center will contact impacted agencies if additional steps are required.
- Ticket Validity: ARC has implemented an enhancement that allows airlines the option of extending the period of time available for agents to process exchanges and refunds settled through ARC beyond the current standard of 13 months from ticketing date of issue. The options now available, in addition to 13 months, are 18, 24, 30 or 39 months from the ticketing date of issue. When an airline chooses to enable one of these options, the selected extended ticket validity becomes effective in IAR for all ARC-accredited agencies.
The following airlines have opted to extend the ticket validity period:
- Air Canada (AC/014): 24 months
- American Airlines (AA/001): 24 months
- Delta Air Lines (AA/001): 24 months
- Intercaribbean Airways (JY/653): 30 months
- Virgin Australia (VA/795): 24 months
- Weekly Sales Reports: Effective immediately, ARC is unable to extend the sales report deadline for any travel agency. Because our industry is undergoing so much volatility, ARC seeks to keep as many aspects of settlement as consistent as possible. To ensure accuracy and minimal agency re-work, ARC recommends that agencies review their sales reports on Tuesday prior to finalizing, and that agencies also refrain from submitting their sales reports early.
ARC will continue to provide updates to the travel agency community as relevant changes occur. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to ARC’s Customer Care Center at firstname.lastname@example.org or 703-816-8003.
ARC Provides Guidance on Avoiding Fraud During COVID-19
To help protect your business from fraudsters exploiting COVID-19-driven instability, ARC is giving travel professionals free use of its global fraud-mitigation tool, ARC Risk Check, for two months.
Tip of the Week: Self-Paced Training Videos and Reference Guides
Did you know ARC provides training videos and reference guides to walk you through and go over the functionality of ARC’s tools, services, concepts and processes? For instance, do you know what to do if you encounter the error “Retry Later – Document in Use” while using IAR? ARC has a Self-Paced Training/Knowledge Center available on our website that houses short videos and reference guides designed to quickly help answer that question or any other you may have around different subject matter. We invite you to check out the growing list of video tutorials available by clicking here.