Lufthansa Greases NDC Rails With Agency Incentive, ‘Exclusive’ Ancillary Sales

Lufthansa Group in January will begin paying travel agencies one euro each time their customers fly on a ticket booked through an NDC-enabled channel. In October, the airline group will make Lufthansa and Swiss lounge access available “exclusively” through NDC channels. At that time, it will do the same for inflight Internet vouchers for intercontinental flights operated by Lufthansa and Swiss, and continental flights operated by Austrian Airlines.

These are the latest steps to differentiate content by channel and incentivize agencies to move away from traditional GDS-based booking.

In March, Lufthansa Group said it would apply a 5 euro discount on long-haul bookings through direct and NDC-enabled channels. In April, it more than doubled the discount on certain short-haul, economy-class roundtrip fares when booked through those channels. Along with those positive inducements, Lufthansa network airlines also levy a 16 euro surcharge on GDS bookings.

British Airways and Iberia, which followed Lufthansa in penalizing traditional GDS bookings, said it would increase their surcharge on Sept. 18 to $12, or 10.50 euros and £9 per fare component.

Meanwhile, Lufthansa noted that three agencies, including Lufthansa City Center locations, joined its NDC partner program.


Related
• With A ‘Neutral’ Impact From GDS Fee, Lufthansa Banks On Channel Shift
• Why Lufthansa?
• Siemens Adds Benefits From Lufthansa Direct Connect, Talks With Other Carriers

Author: David Jonas

David Jonas in 2006 co-founded business media firm ProMedia.travel after ten years as a journalist with Business Travel News. David rejoined BTN in 2010 as executive editor when its parent company acquired ProMedia, and in 2014 co-created The Company Dime. David has a bachelor's degree in communications from Cornell University.

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Martin Warner
Advisor
Martin Warner

It makes one question the economic “success” of NDC for LH as a group thus far. Resorting to paying incentives and further lowering fares outside the GDS suggests the net revenue equation hasn’t been equitable (to anybody). Isn’t the benefit of NDC enabling the airline to offer more price points and the ability to adjust fares in narrow increments to meet the challenge of the LCCs?