British Airways is introducing new price points on short-haul flights within Europe for travel agents using its New Distribution Capability (NDC) direct connection, the airline said in a statement provided to Travel Agent. The new fares are set to launch in the first half of 2018.
Adam Daniels, the airline’s chief commercial officer, said that the new short-haul price products will be available to both direct and indirect channels.
“We know that NDC will support these new products, so we are confident that these new products can be made available to trade partners who have such a connection in place,” Daniels said. “We are in discussion with third party technology providers including GDSs about provision of these products, as we want these products to be available widely so that we compete more effectively.”
The airline said that the new fares are the first of many new products that it expects to provide with features that are supported by NDC. It is working to give travel agents options, including a direct NDC connection, access to NDC via GDSs or through technology providers such as Travelfusion or Hitchhiker.
The move is the latest by British Airways to emphasize the use of NDC connections. The airline implemented a surcharge on bookings not made suing an NDC-based connection on November 1. Travel agents that adopt an NDC connection can avoid the surcharge, as well as access all of the airline’s inventory, including discounted leisure and corporate fares. Agents can also service bookings, by holding them, paying at a later date, cancelling and amending an itinerary, adding ancillaries, pre-booking additional luggage, adding Executive Club and On Business numbers to enable tracking and paying British Airways via IATA's Billing and Settlement Plan. They can also advise the airline of catering requests for pre-order meals in Club World and First, pre-paid meals in World Traveller and World Traveller Plus or special meal orders.