On Tuesday, British Airways began testing new inventory buckets in business and economy classes on Boston and Dubai routes, some of which only are available for purchase through the airline's direct channels or New Distribution Capability-compatible connections.
British Airways and Iberia parent International Airlines Group told investors last week that 17 percent of its indirect distribution volume is flowing through application programming interfaces or New Distribution Capability-based connections. IAG director of strategy Robert Boyle said the group is well positioned to beat the target of delivering 20 percent of indirect volume by 2020 as a participant in the International Air Transport Association's Leaderboard initiative.
Australian flag carrier Qantas introduced a new commercial structure for travel agencies to promote adoption of New Distribution Capability-compatible connections, either through a global distribution system or another approved tech provider. Its pitch to agencies includes the threat of a $12.50 per-segment surcharge on GDS bookings and diminished content access but also a private channel-type framework as a path for agencies to avoid both.
Amadeus and Travelport this week confirmed they have individually reached private-channel agreements with Air France-KLM.
Effective next month, Lufthansa Group airlines will sell their "best fares" exclusively through direct channels or via New Distribution Capability-enabled application programming interfaces.
On April 1, U.K.-based travel management company CTI will introduce a white-labeled version of the Atriis online booking and content aggregation system. Called Plannet, the tool will pipe in supplier content via application programming interfaces, global distribution systems and online travel agencies.
With less than two weeks to go before Air France-KLM enacts an 11 euro per-way surcharge on global distribution system bookings, the Franco-Dutch airline group remains in discussions with GDS operators on private-channel arrangements that could shield select travel agencies from the fee.
Sabre signed more than 40 airlines to full content global distribution agreements in 2017, demonstrating "that many carriers around the world like the model the way it is," Sabre president and CEO Sean Menke said during the company's fourth-quarter earnings call.