Lufthansa on role of agents, GDSs

Group pushes to develop “multi-channel landscape”
Digitalisation and the greater personalisation of products and services will play key roles in Lufthansa Group’s push in developing a “multi-channel landscape” as the airline seeks to reduce its reliance on traditional distribution channels.
Speaking to TTG Asia in a phone interview, the group’s Asia-Pacific vice president, Dieter Vranckx, said that distributing its fares and products across different avenues form a natural proposition for the group, which comprises Lufthansa, Swiss International Air Lines, Austrian Airlines and Brussels Airlines.
“We are very happy with GDSs as a distribution channels – they are an excellent way to distribute complex itineraries. But next to the GDS, the Lufthansa website is also a good platform, plus other additional distribution channels,” he said.
“In our changing world, it’s no longer about just a seat, but a seat plus meal, duty-free shopping and a lounge voucher perhaps, so we need a distribution solution that can showcase all these products. Selling a lounge voucher, for example, is not possible on GDSs.
“GDS is a necessary tool but it cannot display the functionality or shape of all our new products we have invested in. We want our B2B partners and customers to see all our products.”
Lufthansa has established 2017 as a year of digitalisation as it pursues a more efficient and customer-centric strategy with agents and corporates alike.
“We see potential to digitalise our relationships with agents through automated solutions and auxiliaries. We want to make sure we are easy to deal with,” said Vranckx.
TTG Asia

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