Lufthansa is “ready to cooperate” with its distribution partners to find new solutions to the €16 GDS charge, the airline group has told BBT.

The fee, which has been described as “exorbitant” by senior industry figures, will come into force in September and will apply to all bookings made via a non-direct channel.

The German company said “it is too early to predict” if companies accept the charge or move their business to another airline but is willing to discuss the issue with its customers.

“Despite the alternative offers of [direct booking channels] lhgroup-agent.com or lh.com Lufthansa Group is ready to cooperate with its distribution partners on new solutions,” a spokesperson told BBT.

“Furthermore for customers who use the GDS system, we assume that these customers use it for a reason and are willing to accept a fee.”

Lufthansa said there will “not be any further negotiation” on the €16 fee, but added: “As LHG has committed itself not to overcharge over its level of direct sales cost we will closely monitor and adapt if necessary.”

Lufthansa said it acknowledges that “this step is a first step to a new distribution landscape”, which includes co-operation with GDSs and TMCs.

The GTMC has confirmed it will meet with Lufthansa today to discuss what this will mean for its members, as the organisation warned of a backlash from the travel industry.

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