More than three months after Air France-KLM introduced a surcharge on global distribution system bookings, Sabre and the airline group are at an impasse on reaching a private channel deal that would enable Sabre's agency subscribers selected by the airline group to book without fee.
Amadeus and Travelport this week confirmed they have individually reached private-channel agreements with Air France-KLM.
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.
Air France and KLM are poised to introduce a surcharge on global distribution system bookings, according to airline and travel management company sources.
Finnair this week revealed details of a New Distribution Capability-based strategy and partner program for travel agencies in select European markets. Partners agreeing to new terms with Finnair and hooking up to NDC-compatible connections will gain access to its "best" content available to travel agencies, effective Oct. 1.
Air France-KLM plans to launch a New Distribution Capability-based application programming interface in January 2018. As expected, it also will introduce an €11 per-way surcharge on global distribution system bookings, effective April 1, 2018. On the same date, Air France-KLM will release an online booking portal for travel agencies.
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.
India-based Airlines Technology is entering the U.S. market as another NDC aggregator but with a different pricing offer for TMCs.