With Planned Acquisition In Germany, American Express Global Business Travel Challenges Lufthansa Group

Lufthansa Group and American Express Global Business Travel don't see eye-to-eye on distribution. Now, GBT brings more to the table. Announced Tuesday, its planned acquisition of DER Business Travel would add 42 locations and 600 people serving small and medium-sized clients in Germany. 

Amex GBT has made clear its displeasure with Lufthansa's moves to remove fares from GDSs in a push for NDC-compliant channels. It's taking a harder stance than the likes of BCD Travel, Expedia or TravelPerk, which announced partnerships with Lufthansa to develop new connections.

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Author: Jay Campbell

Jay Campbell in 2004 created travel business newsletter The Beat, in 2006 co-founded Travel Procurement magazine and in 2010 integrated them with Business Travel News. He served as editorial director until 2013. Jay made his travel industry media debut in 1993 at the Air Travel Journal of Boston while earning his undergraduate degree in journalism at Boston University.

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David Bishop
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David Bishop

Personally, I’m bored with GBT’s view on distribution. Feels a little like Sony missing the digital boat 19 years ago. It is deeply disappointing to read that GBT will use this acquisition to try and stymie development of NDC in LH’s home market. My view, not surprisingly, is pursue the commercial opportunities that NDC can deliver. I would question the comment that GBT’s tech stack is viewed as a positive here. If that’s the case, why is NDC not being embraced?