Airline Sales and Service Agents

(NOC 6433)


These comments apply to the career grouping of Occupations in Travel and Accommodation.

Your work prospects are currently rated LIMITED because:

After rising significantly in the 1990s, the number of airline sales and service agents started to fall somewhat. In the 1990s, this occupation benefited from the opening of new call centres and carriers' policies promoting direct ticket sales that by-passed travel agencies. The rising use of electronic services, particularly through the Internet, accounts for the recent drop. Given the expected lack of growth in employment in the air transportation industry and the introduction of new reservation and check-in control systems, the number of airline sales and service agents should decrease significantly over the next few years.

Job opportunities should result mainly from positions being vacated by agents who leave the occupation, are promoted or are retiring. Experience as a ticket and air service agent, especially when it is combined with a college training in tourism or with university training in tourism management, helps when applying for supervisory positions as account officers, operations management officers, etc. The occupation is often used as an entry position in the air transport industry.

Employment growth in this occupation depends on the popularity of air transport, organizational factors and the use of electronic services over the Internet, and the automation of activities related to ticket sales and to passenger check-in.

After several years of strong employment growth late in the 1990s, the air transportation industry since 2000 recorded a major decrease in its work force. The strong growth late in the 1990s was attributable to a number of basic factors: overall improvement in the economy, increase in international trade, deregulation of the air industry with the United States, unmet demand for regional air transportation and, to a lesser degree, increase in the number of younger retirees. Thus, the number of enplaned and deplaned passengers in Qu├ębec increased by 17% between 1995 and 2000 according to the Statistics Canada publication Air Carrier Traffic at Canadian Airports.

As far as organization is concerned, the demand is and will be affected by the decision by air carriers to reduce or cancel the commissions they pay to agencies and tour wholesalers. With the introduction of call centres and Internet sites dedicated to selling tickets, airlines feel they have less need for travel agencies to sell their tickets and are thus trying to reduce their costs to be able to meet the fierce competition in the air transport market.

Job Seekers: 16,790
Job Openings: 15,297

Job prospects for this career are rated Limited

Last Updated: August 03, 2012