American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) has completed negotiations on a renewed its distribution agreement with sister carriers British Airways and Iberia.
The multi-year agreement has been expanded to cover a collaboration on developing and distributing NDC content through the global distribution systems (GDSs) with which parent company, International Airlines Group (IAG), has a deal.
GBT said it will take a “leading role in implementing the airlines’ NDC capabilities through the GDSs, reflecting a joint ambition to achieve significant bookings of NDC fares throughout 2022”.
New NDC content is expected to be first available in Neo, GBT’s online booking and expense management platform, early next year.
Mark Muren, head of global sales at British Airways, said: “It is more important than ever to work collaboratively with partners to build a stable foundation for the recovery of global travel while simultaneously pushing for innovation and efficiency.
“This agreement with GBT accomplishes both and I am delighted to be working even more closely together to implement NDC functionality and new NDC-enabled solutions for our mutual customers.
“GBT’s endorsement and strong level of commitment will meaningfully accelerate the industry’s transition to next-generation content and delivery systems. I look forward to achieving our shared goals in this space.”
Rajiv Ahluwalia, GBT senior vice president of partner solutions and supply MarketPlace, said:
“This agreement recognizes the value of our existing relationship, and ensures our clients receive the benefits of both traditional and NDC content over the coming years.
“We continue to work with our airline and GDS partners to develop new, value-add content for our mutual customers in all channels.
“We will combine new NDC content with the scale, shopping, and servicing of the GDSs to deliver unique value to our customers.
“We applaud BA/Iberia’s approach on distribution, which closely aligns with other distribution deals we have recently announced. British Airways/Iberia are focused on driving customer value rather than threatening access to content or disadvantaging customers.”