Delving into the Air France-KLM and Amadeus deal, what does it signify?

11th September, 2020

The Air France-KLM group and Amadeus NDC distribution deal is under scrutiny.

“What does it mean for different stakeholders?” and other aspects like the link between a surcharge and new content are being evaluated.

Commenting on what it signifies as far as NDC and indirect distribution is concerned, Alexander v. Bernstorff, Director Airline Solutions, InteRES said, “We are in year 10 of AFs NDC efforts. 12 years after Lufthansa paved the way for airlines to leave the full-content model with their Preferred Fares Model, it appears airlines are still in the process of managing GDS commercials and signing parity agreements. That’s somehow weird as NDC was meant for airlines to make more relevant offers to consumers and also to finally solve the issue of ridiculous complexity, particularly when it comes to changing a booking.”

Von Bernstorff pointed out that seemingly there aren’t any suggestions as to the nature and quality of content delivered through this pipe, plus it doesn’t look like the complexity issue has been tackled: “they say it will take until 2021 for sellers to even have access to that content (albeit at an undefined surcharge) and well into 2021 for providing servicing features, he said. “Hold on – NDC provides for a significantly simplified re-shop process, so where is it?”

But what von Bernstorff finds most striking is that Amadeus has obviously not yet realised a “primary integration of Altea and Navitaire into the Amadeus travel platform for NDC content”, as Robert Buckman of Amadeus says.

“My call-to-action for airlines is to not follow suit with financial models, but instead to build capabilities that can help them differentiate and improve consumer experience. And this has nothing to with NDC – a generic commercial strategy is needed badly in these most uncertain times. The good news is: tech providers like ourselves are ready to go!” concluded von Bernstorff. 

By Ritesh Gupta

Ai Correspondent