Iberia, BA to extend NDC-only fares to all of its U.S. routes in 2020

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International Airline Group's (IAG) Iberia and British Airways plan to expand their Long Haul Additional Price Points (LHAPP) proposition to all U.S. routes in 2020.

The carriers offer LHAPP to agencies that sell their products through an NDC-supported connection. The offering gives travel advisors access to a greater number of fares than they can find in non-NDC channels. The airlines say there are currently more than 4,000 agencies connected to Iberia's and BA's NDC solutions, either via direct connects or NDC aggregators.

Iberia launched LHAPP last November on short and medium-haul routes and has gradually extended it to long-haul routes. The carrier currently offers the NDC-only fares on five U.S. routes; between Madrid and Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Juan. It said the additional price points will be available on its other two U.S. routes, Madrid- Miami and Madrid-New York, at some point next year.

British Airways launched LHAPP last December but to date has made it available for only one U.S. route, Boston-London Heathrow. The carrier flies to 24 other U.S. destinations but did not specify when in 2020 the additional NDC-enabled price points will become available.

Iberia and British Airways revealed their intent to expand the LHAPP proposition as they announced that they have achieved IATA NDC Level 4 certification, which is one step short of the highest certification level. The carriers said that they expect to achieve the NDC @Scale certification, the highest certification level, by the end of this year. The @Scale certification recognizes that a carrier has developed capabilities to drive high volumes of NDC transactions.

Iberia and British Airways have been among the airline industry's more aggressive carriers when it comes to implementing NDC. In November 2017, they implemented a surcharge on GDS bookings, joining only Lufthansa Group airlines. The move was an effort to push agent-facilitated sales to the carriers' websites or to direct connects.

Both airlines are also part of IATA's NDC Leaderboard Initiative, meaning they have set an aspiration to complete 20% of indirect sales via an NDC-enabled connection by the end of next year.

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