American Express GBT strikes no-fee Lufthansa NDC content deal

American Express GBT strikes no-fee Lufthansa NDC content deal

Agreement gives corporate travel arm access to carrier’s full range of fares avoiding GDS charges

American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) has agreed a deal with Lufthansa Group that will give it access to its full range of fares for free.

The agreement, which includes Austrian Airlines, Lufthansa, SWISS and Brussels Airlines brands exempts the travel management firm from New Distribution Capability (NDC) fees.

GBT customers will be able to access NDC deals through the GDSs in all channels, including online booking tools.

Michael Qualantone, GBT chief revenue officer, said: “GBT has once again taken a leadership position on distribution agreements on behalf of customers.

“By working together, GBT, Lufthansa Group airlines and the GDSs have taken an important step towards providing business travellers with access to all NDC content in a way that makes shopping and comparison easier for travellers, and allows GBT to continue to deliver the servicing our customers desire while minimizing fees and costs.

“NDC is supposed to fuel new, innovative content while enhancing the traveller experience. We are, therefore, working together with the Lufthansa Group airlines and the GDSs to bring that new content to our customers and travellers.”

The first stage of implementation will focus on Lufthansa Group airlines’ Light Fares and continuous pricing, which will be available on GBT’s online booking tool, Neo, from early 2021.

GBT said it will continue to work with Lufthansa Group on improving the traveller experience in all channels and bringing new NDC content to customers.

Qualantone added: “We are pleased that Lufthansa Group airlines are taking a collaborative approach to finding content distribution solutions that benefit all parties across the value chain.

“Our objective remains bringing increased value to our customers, greater access to fares and enhanced shopping experiences, within a scalable booking and servicing environment.

“GBT and Lufthansa Group airlines want to set a positive example by ensuring NDC remains focused on customer value. Particularly in the current environment, our goals across the travel and aviation sectors have never been more aligned.”

Heike Birlenbach, senior vice president sales for Lufthansa Group Network Airlines, and chief commercial officer of Lufthansa Airline, said:

“This NDC partnership with GBT fosters modern airline retailing for the benefit of our corporate customers.

“Together we will provide customers with access to the most attractive NDC Smart Offer while enhancing the end-to-end experience of our product innovations for all partners in the value chain.

“This way, Lufthansa Group airlines and GBT will create tangible value and pave the way for meaningful collaboration in the future.”

Tamur Goudarzi Pour, senior vice president revenue management and distribution at Lufthansa Group Network Airlines, and chief commercial officer at SWISS, added:

“Our agreement with GBT is an important milestone in delivering NDC content to corporate customers.

“We are happy that GBT joins us to foster a diverse distribution landscape and that we are able to meet GBT’s need to work with their partners of choice.

“In fact, the agreement shows we are doubling down on our long-term NDC strategy even in current environment, when creating additional customer value through advanced technology proves to be even more crucial.”