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July/August 2017
For Business, Corporate Travel & Meeting Buyers & Arrangers

Air Astana CEO: Airlines will follow Lufthansa with GDS charge

Air Astana CEO and President Peter Foster

Air Astana CEO Peter Foster is in “no doubt” other airlines will follow Lufthansa in charging a fee for non-direct bookings.

Speaking to BBT the chief executive and president of Kazakhstan’s national airline said although he wouldn’t comment publicly on what Lufthansa is doing, Air Astana “very much” supports the drive to reduce the costs from “large dominant suppliers”.

Earlier this month, Lufthansa announced that a ‘Distribution Cost Charge’ will be applicable to all bookings on Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines and Swiss not made through one of the company’s own channels such as Lufthansa.com.

The change which has been met with criticism from many parts of the industry will come into force in September.

“I have no doubt other airlines will follow suit”, said Foster. “We very much support the drive to reduce that element of cost because you’ve got some very large dominant suppliers operating at very high margins in a market where the ultimate customer is the airline.

“Airlines currently have limited control over the price and costs of that element of the supply chain,” he added.

 In 2011, Air Astana was involved in a bitter dispute with GDS provider Amadeus over an alleged breach of contract.

The action led to the temporary termination of distribution services.

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