Lufthansa Group airlines are trimming distribution to agents in the UK via global distribution systems to offer lowest the cheapest fares through Iata NDC and direct sales channels only.
Availability of the cheapest European point to point fares offered by Austrian Airlines, Lufthansa and Swiss will be restricted from December 1.
Economy Light fares will no longer be available in GDS from this date, but can instead be accessed via Lufthansa Group airlines’ direct NDC API, online platform SPRK, austrian.com, lufthansa.com, swiss.com and lhgroup-agent.com.
Low cost tickets from Heathrow and London City airport will initially be excluded from the new policy and remain bookable via GDS.
Expansion of the NDC Partner Programme in the UK, builds on the ‘NDC Smart Offer’ introduced in May covering the German group’s airlines most competitive fares and ancillaries in the UK and Ireland. The fares are £17 lower for a return or £9 one-way for European Light and Classic rates on point-to-point routes, including those from London, Manchester and Dublin to hubs in Frankfurt, Munich, Vienna and Zurich.
Andreas Koester, senior sales director for the UK, Ireland and Iceland, said: “Our goal today, as well as when we introduced NDC three years ago, is to pave the way to a more powerful, innovative and cost-efficient distribution landscape.
“This is of the utmost importance because the travellers of today, and tomorrow, expect to receive airline content in the same easy, digital and transparent way that they are already used to in other parts of their life.
“Our objective is to ensure that our customers experience Lufthansa Group’s premium airline promise at any own and third party purchase points.”
He added: “We are now seeing a strong understanding within the UK trade about the value of an NDC connection.
“With a comprehensive NDC infrastructure now in place, and improving all the time, the number of NDC bookings is growing strongly. With our announcement today we are focusing our efforts on providing a proper commercial incentive for the use of our NDC channels.”
Jill Palmer, chief executive of Click Travel, a Lufthansa partner and early adopter of NDC content, said: “NDC enhances our customers’ ability to get the widest choice of fares and content all in one place. On travel.cloud, our proprietary booking platform, NDC content appears seamlessly alongside traditional content.
“Last month, 42% of our airline bookings went through direct supplier connections and of Lufthansa Group bookings 70% were NDC, so it’s great to see our customers benefiting from the content right now.”
David Bishop, commercial director of Gray Dawes Group, which has recently gone into production with NDC content, added: “We are committed to delivering the optimum content to our clients which will allow us to retail Lufthansa Group fares and offers.
“The distribution landscape is changing rapidly and we have a solution that offers this content to our clients across all our booking channels – offline, online and mobile.
“As the Lufthansa Group evolves its distribution strategy, Gray Dawes is ideally placed to benefit as our investment in technology delivers multi-source content capabilities.”
Lufthansa Group airlines achieved the highest Iata NDC level of certification last year and continues investing further in NDC solutions which it claims improves the capabilities and offers for its travel agency partners and strengthens its “leading position” in the industry.
More: Lufthansa not making cheapest fares available on GDSs [May 18]
Lufthansa signs global NDC partner [May 18]
Lufthansa tells agents ‘don’t wait’ [April 18]
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