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.
Travelport posted gains in global distribution bookings and in market share in several non-U.S. markets, even though its overall air volume fell year over year in the first quarter. Even so, Travelport continues to make up for the drag in air volume, which is especially pronounced in the United States, by posting revenue gains in air and non-air areas alike.
Signs of a corporate travel slowdown in the United States abound, and Sabre today confirmed a "muted" environment and flat booking growth for the business segment during the first quarter, according to executives.
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.
Travelport reported flat year-over-year booking trends for the three months ending June 30, with declines in the United States and gains generally elsewhere, according to second-quarter results released Thursday. As in quarters past, the global distribution system operator continued to offset no-growth transaction trends with higher revenue per segment and big gains in "Beyond Air" revenue, which includes payments as well as hotel and car streams.
IBM and Travelport are launching a jointly developed data system for corporate travel programs that blends IBM Watson artificial intelligence capabilities with Travelport's real-time shopping and historical fare data.
Sabre Travel Network's fourth-quarter revenue declined modestly year over year, but that was more than offset by gains in the firm's growing Airline and Hospitality Solutions business, according to financial results released Wednesday.
Hogg Robinson Group for its half year ending Sept. 30 reported a net rise in client booking and spending activity, claimed account wins outnumbered losses and benefited from robust growth in North America, according to executives and financial statements released Wednesday.
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.
The global distribution system market was slow going for Amadeus and Sabre during the second quarter, but each reported slight growth in bookings. It was slower still for Travelport, which reported no growth of reported segments—including air, car and hotel bookings—processed through its GDSs on a year-over-year basis.