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Lufthansa has signed a deal with Google to allow its flights to be booked directly from the search engine’s flights platform.
The agreement will see the launch in the US market of a ‘Book on Google’ function for Lufthansa flights displayed within Google Flights.
The Google deal is the latest move by Lufthansa to change the way it distributes flights, which has included the introduction of a €16 fee for every booking through a GDS from September 1.
Lufthansa Group chief commercial officer Jens Bischof said: “The partnership with Google will facilitate online bookings particularly on mobile devices.
“Lufthansa is the first legacy carrier worldwide to which Google Flights offers this direct booking function. With Book on Google we will strengthen ticket sales in this channel.
“This is an important step in realising Lufthansa’s new sales and distribution strategy, which strives to modernise existing booking processes as well as to develop new and alternative distribution channels.”
Lufthansa’s GDS fee has proved controversial with travel buyers - a survey by the GBTA last month found that around half of global travel buyers had reduced bookings with the airline since the charge was introduced.
The airline said it had also reached deals with three Germany-based travel firms to offer Direct Connect links to sell flights which will not incur the €16 GDS fee.
“We are delighted to have achieved the first direct connects with important sales partners. Through this, we are able to work towards a modern, independent and customisable range of offers,” said Bischof.
“As a complement to our existing channels, Direct Connect offers our technology partners a wide range of perspectives for more individual and varied offers for our joint customers.”