BERLIN, July 30 (Reuters) - Lufthansa believes other airlines will follow its strategy of imposing a fee on bookings made via third-party sites, part of plans to try to direct more customers to its own website and offer them tailor-made tickets, it said on Thursday.
Lufthansa will impose a 16 euro surcharge on bookings made using global distribution systems (GDS) from Sept 1. It is seen as a risky move, given that the German airline sells around 70 percent of its tickets via third party channels using GDSs from providers such as Amadeus, Travelport and Sabre.
Chief Financial Officer Simone Menne said the step was primarily aimed at being able to offer customers tailor-made products, an aspect that was not covered by GDS providers.
Other airlines have previously tried to bypass the GDS providers without much success, but Lufthansa feels its attempt can work this time.
“What we are hearing from the industry is that other airlines view this as very promising,” Lufthansa Chief Financial Officer Simone Menne told journalists after the group reported second-quarter results.
“It’s a first step and I believe others will follow.”
Menne said the group had not seen any effect on forward bookings as a result and that the charge would likely not have an impact on revenue, with the loss of passengers in some areas being compensated by higher sales in others. (Reporting by Victoria Bryan; Editing by Maria Sheahan)