The travel industry is at “a watershed” with Europe’s major network airlines poised to end decades of full-content fare distribution through the GDSs, leaving many travel agents on the side lines.
That is the view of senior UK industry figure Ken McLeod, who is Advantage Travel Partnership director of industry affairs and president of the Scottish Passenger Agents Association (SPAA). McLeod warned: “Fares will be out in the market that most of our agents can’t access. A slew of fares that sit behind an API will not be available to the general market.”
British Airways, Lufthansa and Air France-KLM plan to make many fares available only via their own direct connect APIs – application programme interfaces – or online portals, in line with Iata’s new distribution capability (NDC), while surcharging on GDS bookings.
Lufthansa’s lowest fares on selected routes from Germany became available only to agents with a direct booking channel this month and UK senior sales director Andreas Koester said: “We envisage similar in the UK.”