While most speakers on stage tended to be from Sabre, STX London welcomed Xavier Lagardere, Lufthansa Group’s head of distribution, on Tuesday to share his views on the industry.
Lagardere said the past two years had been a time of conolsidation for the airline group, inlcuding a move to Zurich and new deals struck with unions. Now, he said, the company was ready to "lead the way" for Europe against a backdrop of intense competition from Gulf carriers.
"Our vision is that we want to provide a diverse distribution ecosystem to our partners and the end-customer," he told delegates. "And NDC is core. It’s about the standard, of course, but also the value of relationships we want to create. We’re rolling new things out every month now."
In August, he said Lufthansa would be offering wifi and lounge access within NDC channels. “That’s just one example of what’s round the corner,” he added.
He also said the group had released a second API for start-ups via its partnership programme, “for those people who aren’t travel agencies”.
When quizzed by Roshan Mendis, chief commercial officer at Sabre Travel Network, over his frustrations, Lagardere replied: “After two and a half years in the role, I’d like to accelerate things – for things to come to market in a speedier way."