Ecuador drops commission rule

WASHINGTON -- Ecuador's civil aviation authority rescinded a government rule that, for more than 20 years, forbid airlines from dropping agent commissions below 10%.

The rescission, effective June 1, should end a dispute with American, which began paying 6% to agents in Latin America in January in spite of the regulation. That dispute led to a two-week suspension, beginning May 22, of some of American's flights to Quito and Guayaquil.

"The authority is not going to be involved in this matter," said Cesar Naranjo, general director of civil aviation in Quito. Instead, he said, the authority decided commissions levels are an issue "to leave to the free market."

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