After a successful pilot this year, SAP Concur has made New Distribution Capability content from British Airways and Lufthansa Group available to all Concur Travel corporate customers and their travel management companies.
Beginning today, clients can configure Concur Travel to enable NDC content from BA and Lufthansa. Travelers booking that content will bypass the global distribution system and thereby avoid any carrier-imposed GDS distribution fees, Concur said. NDC content also ensures travelers have access to the widest range of choices, as some airlines have removed content and fares from the GDS channel entirely, the company added.
Speaking on Wednesday at BTN Group's The Beat Live conference, Concur president Jim Lucier said GDS surcharges from both carriers were a large driver in getting them fully rolled out first. "It not a coincidence that it happened with two European carriers first," he said. "We have customers coming to us saying they want access to that content and are not particularly excited about surcharges."
Under the initiative, NDC content arrives in Concur's booking tool via the Concur Select Access feature, which has for the past 15 years offered direct bookings with low-cost carriers and access to other non-GDS content through a partnership with aggregator TravelFusion. Concur Select Access does come with its own fees that are lower than GDS fees, Lucier said.
Content from American Airlines and a few other carriers currently in beta also will be available "pretty shortly," according to Concur SVP of global supplier and content strategy Charlie Sultan.
Lucier added that he would like to see NDC content delivered via GDSs through TMCs as the predominant model.
Concur began piloting NDC connections with BA and Lufthansa on June 1 with six TMC partners, including Business Travel Direct and Travel & Transport Statesman, both based in the U.K.
Concur was motivated to explore ways to offer NDC content after many TMCs expressed a desire to access such content in the near term rather than waiting for GDSs to integrate NDC offerings.
Concur also announced today that Lufthansa's integration with Concur TripLink will go live in the fourth quarter of 2019, enabling travelers to book directly on Lufthansa's website and have booking data flow back to their corporate travel programs. BA connected with TripLink in April 2018.
Source: Business Travel News