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The chief executive of ACTE has spoken out over Lufthansa’s plans to charge customers a €16 fee for booking outside a direct channel.
Greely Koch said the airline group’s controversial move “should come as no surprise to anyone” and passengers will have to wait to see if other carriers “follow suit”.
Last week, Lufthansa announced it was adding a surcharge of €16 for every ticket issued by a booking channel using GDS.
The ACTE CEO said the industry’s initial response was “predictable” and over the next few weeks it will see whether passengers accept the charge or move to another airline.
“The airlines have been speaking about the high costs of distribution for years... so the announcement should come as no surprise to anyone,” said Koch.
“This was a calculated financial decision made by Lufthansa. The question is whether they have calculated correctly and if other carriers will follow suit.”He added: “Airlines change their business models to make money. No one appears to like Lufthansa’s changes. The carrier is not denying anyone an existing option. The marketplace will just have to pay an additional €16 to book outside a direct channel. The initial reaction by the marketplace was predictable.”
Senior figures in the industry criticised Lufthansa over its move which comes into force in September.
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