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News - American Express GBT

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byAMERICAN EXPRESS GBT



American Express Global Business Travel signs new NDC agreement with Lufthansa Group airlines.
·GBT to access fee-exempt Lufthansa Group airlines NDC content in the GDSs
·Lufthansa Group airlines’ Light Fares and continuous pricing soon available with no surcharge to GBT Neo customers

London, UK – December 14, 2020 – American Express Global Business Travel (GBT), the world’s leading business partner for managed travel, has reached a new global NDC content agreement with the airlines of the Lufthansa Group, which includes Austrian Airlines, Lufthansa, SWISS and Brussels Airlines. The agreement means GBT customers will have fee-exempt access to all Lufthansa Group airlines’ NDC content via the global distribution systems (GDSs). The deal applies in all channels, including online booking tools (OBTs) that have sourced NDC content through the GDSs.

Michael Qualantone, GBT’s 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 travelers with access to all NDC content in a way that makes shopping and comparison easier for travelers, 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 traveler experience. We are, therefore, working together with the Lufthansa Group airlines and the GDSs to bring that new content to our customers and travelers.”

The agreement means Lufthansa Group airlines’ NDC content will be available through the GDSs in the online booking tools (OBTs) and the travel counsellor channel. With fares available in one eco-system, travelers and arrangers can seamlessly shop, book, change and cancel in their channel of choice.

As GBT, Lufthansa Group airlines, and GDSs integrate their technology platforms, GBT customers will gain access to Lufthansa Group airlines’ most comprehensive and attractive range of offers. 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 with no added surcharges or additional fees. GBT and Lufthansa Group airlines will continue to work on improving the traveler experience in all channels and bringing new NDC content to customers. Travel managers wanting access to these fares should ask their OBT provider about their GDS NDC program timelines.

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 & Distribution Lufthansa Group Network Airlines, and Chief Commercial Officer 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.”

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