BCD Travel has partnered with the Lufthansa Group to test booking its airline’s New Distribution Capability (NDC) content.

The TMC says the agreement underlines its multi-source strategy for adding value to its clients’ programmes.

The partnership will allow BCD to determine whether key components of the NDC process are cost-effective for customers, and the TMC says the decision to work with Lufthansa “rested on the airline group’s success in overcoming preliminary NDC-related obstacles and challenges over the last three years.”

The news comes after Lufthansa Group announced that it would remove some of its cheapest fares from the GDSs in an effort to encourage booking through NDC and direct channels.

Rose Stratford, EVP of global supplier relations and strategic sourcing at BCD Travel, said: “Our decision to test NDC booking technology comes after carefully following the progress of the Lufthansa Group airlines in bringing new technological options to market. We’ve always taken a positive position on NDC, committing to support it as long as it benefitted our clients and improved the traveller experience. The development of robust and scalable NDC schemas has been slow, but some have now become mature enough to warrant testing.”

Heike Birlenbach, senior VP of sales for Lufthansa Hub Airlines and CCO of Hub Frankfurt, commented: “BCD Travel and the Lufthansa Group share the vision for an enhanced traveller experience. BCD joining the Lufthansa Group airlines’ NDC Partner Program marks an important milestone in realising this vision for the business travel industry. Due to the corporate travel requirements for servicing, reporting and duty of care, TMCs provide comprehensive solutions to cover all this.”

Thane Jackson, VP of global distribution and channel strategy at BCD Travel, added: “Business travellers today want and deserve an engaging shopping experience that lets them customise their preferences. Their employers demand not only the ability to search and shop multiple sites, but also access to robust, reliable and up-to-date data for cohesive itineraries, actionable reporting and duty of care. Our aim is to provide a seamless customer experience that reinforces the value that TMCs provide for managed client programmes.”

bcdtravel.com; lufthansagroup.com

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