HRG, A Few Corporate Clients Among Lufthansa Direct Connect Partners

Lufthansa Group and Hogg Robinson Group are working on a direct connection so the travel management company's clients can avoid the airline group's €16 fee on global distribution system bookings. The agreement extends to Hogg Robinson Group's travel and expense technology division, Fraedom, Lufthansa announced.

Lufthansa also noted some corporate clients, including Austria-based engineering company Andritz and steel manufacturer ArcelorMittal, "have stated that they would actively promote a direct connection to the Lufthansa Group systems." It also is in discussions with pharmaceutical company Bayer.

Lufthansa German Airlines chief commercial officer Jens Bischof previously discussed Lufthansa's direct connect approach with corporate clients.

Booking tool provider KDS and United Kingdom-based travel management company Click Travel also have accessed Lufthansa's direct connection, executives told The Beat. An official from KDS, which taps into Lufthansa content via Travelfusion, described Lufthansa's approach as "complex."

This week, Lufthansa Group announced several other travel sellers making use of its direct connect, including tour operators L'Tur and Vtours. Travel conglomerate TUI also "has confirmed its plans for the alternative distribution channel direct connect," while U.K. travel company Thomas Cook is discussing the possibility, according to Lufthansa.

Lufthansa also extended its Google Flights booking partnership, which has been active only in the United States, to other countries, including France, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Poland and Canada.

In November, Lufthansa announced several technology partners through which travel sellers can access its direct connection, powered by Farelogix.

"The Lufthansa Group is implementing a number of further Direct Connect projects with key partners, we are working on further IT solutions and developing additional options designed to facilitate a direct connection to the Lufthansa Group," according to a statement attributed to Bischof.