TripActions in the past month has turned on direct connections with Southwest Airlines and Lufthansa Group, following an inaugural direct connect with United Airlines in June. TripActions VP of booking experience and supplier strategy Danny Finkel said the travel management company, which prides itself on homegrown tech, is eyeing more direct connects with additional carriers. "Our mantra has been, and always will be: Content wins," he said.
British Airways bookings made by agents through New Distribution Capability connections have reached "thousands and thousands and thousands" daily, claimed head of distribution Ian Luck. In an interview this week, he defended BA's withdrawal of its lowest fares from global distribution systems and confirmed it is winding down private-channel arrangements as it aims to shift all agency bookings to NDC-compatible connections by the end of 2020.
Air Canada CEO Calin Rovinescu has described the carrier's looming transition from a two-and-a-half-decade-old passenger services and reservations system to the Amadeus Altea suite as a “heart and lung transplant," according to a memo to agencies this summer. Next week, the carrier goes under the knife for a major operation.
TAP Air Portugal became the latest European airline to revise its approach to travel agency distribution.
Amadeus during its third-quarter earnings call Thursday recapped recent progress on enabling distribution that aligns with the New Distribution Capability.
International Airlines Group partners British Airways and Iberia announced Thursday that they plan to remove their lowest short-haul fares from conventional indirect distribution channels such as global distribution systems and make them available to travel agencies only through New Distribution Capability connections.
Duffel has been in stealth mode for two years, but bubbled to the surface last week to announce $30 million in Series B funding.
In current release notes for Concur Travel users, SAP Concur warned clients Lufthansa "may delete passive segments that are written to Sabre."