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“Lufthansa cannot cut itself from the agencies who make 70% of their sales!”

Interview of Jean-Louis Baroux, former president of APG and air travel expert


Lufthansa’s announcement that is will increase by €16 the reservation made by GDS provoked a storm in the business. What led to taking such a decision, what is the purpose? We asked the question to Jean-Louis Baroux, air transport expert, who doesn’t really understand what the company is trying to achieve with this…



Jean-Louis Baroux: “I don’t understand well what is the true purpose, what they are looking for. Lufthansa cannot cut itself from the travel agencies who make 70% of their sales.” DR BillionPhotos.com Fotolia
Jean-Louis Baroux: “I don’t understand well what is the true purpose, what they are looking for. Lufthansa cannot cut itself from the travel agencies who make 70% of their sales.” DR BillionPhotos.com Fotolia
TourMaG.com - What’s your reaction to Lufthansa’s decision to increase by €16 the reservation fees made via the GDS?

Jean-Louis Baroux: “This is a major question, I don’t really understand what is the true intention, or what they want. Lufthansa cannot cut itself from travel agencies who make 70% of their sales.

Is this an attack to make the GDS rates drop? To my knowledge, the company is already benefiting from a particular contract with Amadeus…

At the same time, it is not the first time that the companies are choosing a strategy that aims at getting rid of distribution intermediaries.

This was already the case with the removal of commissions, and in my eyes, that was not the best decision.

TourMaG.com - Do you think that this decision could be orchestrated by IATA, and in collusion with other companies?

J.-L.B.: To my knowledge, no, and connivance is against the law. The announcement surprised everyone a bit, and at the same time, if Lufthansa is doing it, then why not us?

If companies wish to increase their revenues, they just need to raise the price of tickets…

TourMaG.com - Is it a manner of announcing the establishment of the NDC?

J.-L.B.: Neither, the project is being drafted and it is going to spread just like electronic ticketing…


TourMaG.com - Lufthansa mentioned that it would like to promote its BtoB website, do you think that agencies are really going to use this tool to avoid paying €16?

J.-L.B.: It is certain that compared to the BSP, the company could make cash more easily, but I don’t think that the agencies will go through the website.

They will simply explain to their client that by choosing Lufthansa, they will have to pay the additional €16.

I don’t envision travel agencies jumping from website to website to obtain all of the rates and hours. That would be going 30 years backwards…

I doubt that the distribution will do a boycott, especially in Europe. However, on farther markets, doing a transit to Amsterdam or Paris, rather than Frankfurt, will not be problem.

Written by Jean-Louis Baroux translated by Joséphine Foucher the 18/06/2015
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Tags : Lufthansa

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