BCD Travel partners with Lufthansa Group airlines to pilot New Distribution Capability booking
BCD Travel has entered into an agreement with the Lufthansa Group airlines (Austrian Airlines, Lufthansa, SWISS and Brussels Airlines) that will enable the travel management company to pilot booking the Lufthansa Group airlines’ New Distribution Capability (NDC) content. The agreement underlines BCD’s multi-source strategy for providing a seamless traveler experience that drives the booking, spend management and security processes, adding value to corporate clients’ travel programs.
The program will allow BCD to determine whether key components of the NDC process are cost-effective for customers. As the leading travel management company in Germany, BCD concluded that a partnership with the Lufthansa Group airlines was potentially a logical step towards understanding the value of NDC for the TMC’s customers. BCD’s decision to work with the Lufthansa Group airlines on their inaugural airline NDC channel also rested on the airline group’s success in overcoming preliminary NDC-related obstacles and challenges over the last three years.
“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,” says Rose Stratford, Executive Vice President, Global Supplier Relations & Strategic Sourcing at BCD Travel. “We’ve always taken a positive position on NDC, committing to support it as long as it benefited our clients and improved the traveler experience. The development of robust and scalable NDC schemas has been slow, but some have now become mature enough to warrant testing.”
“BCD Travel and the Lufthansa Group share the vision for an enhanced traveler experience,” says Heike Birlenbach, Senior Vice President Sales Lufthansa Hub Airlines and Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) Hub Frankfurt. “BCD joining the Lufthansa Group airlines’ NDC Partner Program marks an important milestone in realizing 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.”
BCD entered its multi-year agreement with the Lufthansa Group airlines under the assumption that a successful industry-wide implementation of NDC requires a multi-source strategy. Global Distribution Systems will continue to play a pivotal role in BCD’s booking strategy. Earlier this year, BCD entered into strategic NDC relationships with Amadeus, Sabre and Travelport.
“Business travelers today want and deserve an engaging shopping experience that lets them customize their preferences,” said Thane Jackson, Vice President, Global Distribution & Channel Strategy at BCD Travel. “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 programs.“