Carlson Wagonlit Travel has begun piloting access for its reservations consultants to Lufthansa Group’s lowest fares via the aggregator Travelfusion. But the mega travel management company is less than ecstatic about it.
Travelfusion handled 30,000 NDC bookings in September, up from 10,000 in March, CEO Moshe Rafiah told The Beat last week. He expects 35,000 bookings in October and projects 20 percent growth monthly for the foreseeable future.
Travelport and Japan Airlines on June 1 plan to launch a joint venture that will bring Axess—the JAL-owned local market distribution system—and the Travelport Japan K.K. GDS business under one roof.
BCD Travel early next year plans to pilot New Distribution Capability bookings with Lufthansa Group and two undisclosed non-global distribution system aggregators.
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.
Concur has established its own direct connections to a few airlines so bookers can access content not readily available through global distribution systems. However, the SAP-owned T&E giant now is leaning on aggregator Travelfusion to hook up with carriers using the International Air Transport Association's New Distribution Capability standard, Concur SVP of supplier services Charlie Sultan said last week during a panel at an American Airlines NDC summit in Dallas.
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.
American Airlines plans to test negotiated corporate bundles this year with clients of travel management companies that connect to the airline through an International Air Transport Association New Distribution Capability connection.
As it approaches the fourth anniversary of its leading role among European airlines in surcharging global distribution system bookings, Lufthansa Group Thursday reported that direct-booking share, for the first time in the group's history, passed the 50 percent mark.
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.