Global distribution system segments processed by Travelport—including air, hotel, car and rail—fell 4 percent year over year during the third quarter amid "customer headwinds," the company reported Thursday.
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.
As it prepares for divorce from the European Union, the U.K. no doubt has bigger priorities than to iron out its governing regulations for airline distribution and global distribution systems. Opting to maintain the status quo, the U.K. has chosen to adopt, upon its March 29 exit from the EU, the European Commission's decade-old computer reservations system code of conduct.
Amadeus during its third-quarter results presentation Wednesday acknowledged that moves by the three largest European airline groups to surcharge global distribution system bookings and drive bookings directly to their own channels are playing a role in disintermediating the GDSs. Yet, CEO Luis Maroto said he wasn't too worried about an acceleration in disintermediation.
As the only remaining defendant in a consumer-led lawsuit against the three major global distribution systems, Sabre has moved to settle out of court with each of the remaining plaintiffs.
A U.K.-based travel management company last week transacted a flight booking on Travelport's Smartpoint point-of-sale system in accordance with the International Air Transport Association’s New Distribution Capability standard. Travelport claimed to be the first major global distribution system to do so.
Amadeus has reached a settlement agreement with consumer plaintiffs in a federal antitrust lawsuit filed in 2015 against the three major global distribution system operators. If the court approves the settlement, as it did for fellow GDS operator Travelport, Sabre would be left as the lone GDS defendant in the case, which seeks class-action status.
Last month, Air India stopped participating in the Amadeus global distribution system, and the carrier plans to limit participation in Sabre next year. The actions follow an exclusive distribution agreement Air India inked with Travelport, which will see the GDS operator, hungry for growth in India, become the sole distributor of Air India's domestic fare content in the carrier's home market.
BCD Travel early next year plans to pilot New Distribution Capability bookings with Lufthansa Group and two undisclosed non-global distribution system aggregators.