According to published reports in Europe, Lufthansa Group on April 5 began discounting by 20 euros some short-haul economy-class roundtrip fares when booked through direct or NDC-enabled channels. This is on top of the 16 euro surcharge Lufthansa, Austrian and Swiss currently apply on bookings through global distribution systems, effectively more than doubling the disadvantage in traditional, indirect sales channels. The 20 euro discount (10 euro each way) applies on bookings for flights from Frankfurt, Munich, Vienna and Zurich.

“This puts the travel agencies under pressure to quickly find a suitable solution for their customers in order to continue to be reliable service providers with added value,” according to a statement from Hans-Ingo Biehl, executive director of German business travel association VDR. “The direct access offered by Lufthansa is still unable to support the end-to-end needs of the business travel market. Since this is the most profitable segment of the airline, we would still like to have a more cooperative approach to changing processes.”

Lufthansa Group in March announced that, effective this month, its “best” economy-class fares for flights from its four major hubs would be available exclusively in direct and NDC-enabled channels. At that time, it also noted a 5 euro discount on long-haul bookings through direct and NDC channels. The airline company signaled a “steady extension of the product differentiation for Direct Connect partners,” including extra loyalty program credit accrual.

Lufthansa spokespersons did not respond to a request for information.


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