The Lufthansa Group has “lost bookings” following the introduction of a €16 fee on global distribution system (GDS) sales last September.
Lufthansa chief executive Carston Spohr conceded that imposition of the fee, or Distribution Cost Charge (DCC), had led to a loss of bookings outside Germany, but he insisted the overall impact was “neutral”.
Spohr said: “We lost some bookings outside our home market. But the higher GDS charges compensated. We see a neutral impact.”
Lufthansa published annual results for 2015 yesterday showing a 55% increase in operating profit on the previous year to €1.8 billion.
Spohr told analysts: “We want more direct connections to our passengers, to our corporate customers, to have control of the data they provide.
“We can offer them tailored products which you can only offer when you have the data in your hands.”
He said Lufthansa’s imposition of the GDS fee was “a lot more than a cost issue”.
The carrier has previously insisted it has seen no impact on bookings since introducing the fee across group airlines Lufhansa, Swiss, Brussels and Austrian Airlines.
The Guild of Travel Management Companies reported Lufthansa suffered a fall in market share between the UK and Germany of eight percentage points in the final quarter of last year.