Air France-KLM is also postponing the additional GDS fee for medical centers

Air France and KLM have also postponed the introduction of the additional GDS fee for business travel agencies, with the fee now set to be levied from the end of the first quarter of 2023, airlines confirmed to BTN Europe.

The fee, currently €13 per tranche reserved for the GDS, already applies to leisure travel agencies and has been introduced in an effort to push NDC accreditation.

It was due to be expanded to travel management companies this spring but in April it was pushed back to the end of this month. This decision was made after the shipping companies expressed concerns about the readiness of the NDC program and the ability to manage reservations after booking.

Those concerns persist, Laurent Abitbol, ​​group head of French travel agency Marietton Développement — whose brands include TMCs Ailleurs Business and Havas Voyages — recently told L’Echo Touristique that it takes two and a half years to book an Air France ticket via NDC. 1 minute compared to 30 seconds via classic Amadeus access.

“This time it does not correspond to our activity. Features are not working, including automatic payment,” he said. “We demand that the National Dialogue Conference be postponed for at least six months on business trips, as long as Air France has not found a quick solution with Amadeus. Technology should be a source of progress, not a concern.”

A statement from the airlines said: “Air France-KLM has heard a message from business travel agents that with teams and resources under pressure in the context of a rapid recovery over the summer, conditions are not fully met at this time for a full start-up. . -Outside.

“After carefully analyzing the situation with its partners, Air France-KLM has decided to give until the end of March 2023 to the business and industry ecosystem to be ready for its wider deployment. Therefore, Air France and KLM will extend the exemption from additional GDS fees to existing business agencies until today. [the] end of the first quarter of 2023.”

She said the two companies “will continue to work closely with all commercial stakeholders to prepare for the NDC transition process” and that important corporate pilot programs have been implemented.

Currently, about 75 percent of Air France and KLM’s online entertainment reservations are processed via NDC-enabled technology.

The carriers said they are now focusing on the company’s ecosystem and are working with communications management companies and aggregators toward a scalable product via the AFKL API solution. A milestone was reached in August, she said, with the first corporate direct pilots booked through NDC.

“A great deal of progress has been made in the past months and allows us to release our API for business in September, with the addition of major new functionality.”

These include automated management of complex refunds (eg partly flight paths) and the development of new special fares.

“Over the next six months, Air France KLM will continue to work closely with all stakeholders to operate successful corporate pilots, improve NDC technology and new content for the benefit of customers,” concluded the airline’s statement.

Originally Posted by BTN Europe.

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