BA will push its cheapest short-haul fares via New Distribution Capability (NDC) channels in the first half of 2018, cutting out the traditional GDS channels. GDS bookings have incurred an £8 per fare component fee since November 1.
BA’s chief commercial officer Adam Daniels said: “We’ve been speaking much more directly to agents about distribution and those two-way conversations mean that we’re able to build new products based on their requirements.
“In the first half of 2018 we will be introducing significantly more short-haul price points. The change will enable us to compete more efficiently with other short-haul carriers and offer a wider spread of fares, which will benefit the trade and customers alike.”
Daniels claimed the airline had “successfully changed our approach to distribution” and said this transition “has gone incredibly well”.
He added: “We’ve received great support from the trade, including signing new, modified agreements with the three GDSs and over 50 of the top UK agents with the view to them developing NDC connections with us.”
Agents that adopt an NDC connection will have access to the airline’s entire inventory, including discounted leisure and corporate fares. They can also hold bookings, pay at a later date, cancel and amend an itinerary. Other benefits include adding ancillaries, pre-booking additional luggage, adding Executive Club and On Business numbers, tracking and paying 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.
Daniels said discussions continued with technology providers – including the major GDSs – in order to secure wider distribution of the new fares.