American Express Global Business Travel has reached an agreement with Air France-KLM that enables customers to bypass a surcharge on air fares through participating global distribution systems, while maintaining access to content.
In November 2017, Air France-KLM announced that from April this year bookings made through indirect channels, such as global distribution systems and online booking tools, would be charged an €11 fee.
Recognising the importance of American Express Global Business Travel and its customers to its business, Air France-KLM has agreed to exempt it from the surcharge and to continue providing consolidated and transparent content access.
Michael Qualantone, executive vice president, global supplier relations for American Express Global Business Travel, said: “Our customers want simple, aggregated and transparent access to air content.
“We seek key strategic partners who recognise this and will work with us to give customers the booking access and experience they deserve.”
He added: “We are advocating collaboration among airline and distribution partners to deliver the most comprehensive access to air content, the best pricing and shopping environment, within the robust servicing provided by the global distribution systems.”
The agreement is subject to the global distribution systems entering private channel arrangements with Air France-KLM.
Of the three main global distribution systems, two have reached agreements with Air France-KLM while the other remains in active dialogue.
Pieter Bootsma, executive vice president, commercial strategy for Air France-KLM, added: “We fully recognise the value that the business travel segment, including all servicing and distribution partners, brings to our business.
“This agreement will continue the strategic relationship we have with American Express Global Business Travel as we look to jointly provide corporate customers with the highest levels of customer experience and cost-efficiency.”