Lufthansa takes GDS booking tumble with new surcharge, rival carriers benefit
German carrier Lufthansa is beginning to see the impact of its decision to impose a levy on all bookings made through Global Distribution Systems.
A highly confidential document obtained by Tnooz from a third party, which is supposed to be circulated only for the eyes of senior figures at Sabre Travel Network, includes a wide selection of booking data covering the weeks since the carrier introduced its controversial Euro 16 fee on all GDS bookings on September 1.
The top-line summary outlined in the document (titled “Lufthansa Group Bookings Report – September Week 2 – Sept 8-Sept 14 2015″) includes the following:
Lufthansa Group bookings in Europe via the GDS (Sabre, Travelport and Amadeus) in the first two weeks of September are down 16.1% versus a flat year-to-date up to August. The main beneficiaries of this change are Air France, British Airways, SAS, Alitalia and United – “all are experiencing significantly higher bookings growth than YTD”.
In segments where Lufthansa has a market of 30%-60%, share drops of up to 30% were experienced in the first week of September. Competitor carriers British Airways, Air Berlin and Air France are stated as gaining from the declines.
Sabre’s billable bookings for the Lufthansa Group are down 15.6% in the first two weeks of September compared 10.7% growth in the year-to-date to August. Sabre has adjusted this figure to 11.5% to account for the US Labor Day break.
There is no data or analysis provided to suggest if Sabre (or other)-connected agencies are using the “direct-connect” platform created by Lufthansa to make bookings that then bypass the surcharge.
The table below outlines total European GDS bookings on leading legacy carriers for the year-to-date and first two weeks of September.