Skift Take

Yet another airline hurt by the pandemic is rethinking its distribution.

Aegean Airlines plans to add a surcharge on tickets, a move that it hopes will reset its relationship with the biggest technology companies that distribute plane tickets to travel agencies.

Aegean Airlines informed travel agents Thursday that in January 2021 it will add a fee of $6 (€5) per passenger per leg of a trip on tickets that travel agencies book through the three largest technology companies that distribute tickets, Amadeus, Sabre, and Travelport.

A company spokesperson couldn’t be reached by our publication time for additional commentary. Agencies can find details on Aegean’s site.

Aegean’s so-called “distribution channel fee” is copying a move to push traditional technology middlemen further out of the distribution chain. Lufthansa Group, which pioneered the surcharges five years ago, raised its charge earlier this week. When Lufthansa introduced the fee, many commentators doubted other carriers would adopt a similar surcharge, which can make tickets costlier when compared with other airlines flying the same route that aren’t charging a similar fee.

Yet others did follow. Most recently, Singapore Airlines said in July it would add a fee in January. A British Airways and Iberia surcharge since 2018 has made meant the lowest fares have only been available through those carriers’ direct channels.

Not every airline is sticking with the fees, though.

Air France-KLM and Amadeus last week agreed to make the airline group’s plane tickets available for travel agents to book through Amadeus’s systems via newer, more modern forms of selling. Agents can book this content with a much smaller surcharge of “a few euros” per ticket for agencies using the new content. Other agents booking the airline group’s traditional content through the classic reservation systems will have to pay a higher surcharge of $13 (€11) surcharge per one-way ticket.

Skift has more context and analysis on the broader upheaval in distribution in our earlier story today: New Singapore Airlines Deal Signals a More Flexible Travelport on Distribution Tech.

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Tags: aegean airlines, airline distribution, amadeus, distribution, global distribution systems, greece, sabre, surcharges, travel technology, travelport

Photo credit: An Aegean Airlines Airbus Α320 in flight. Aegean plans to add a surcharge of $6 (€5) per passenger per leg on tickets booked via Amadeus, Sabre, and Travelport

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