Why we can’t afford to ignore the LCCs
Having come from the airline industry myself and now seeing the business from the other side, I believe that it’s time to take the low cost carriers (LCCs) seriously. Travel agents cannot survive without the LCCs, and vice versa.
Twenty years ago, the full service airlines did not believe low cost carriers were a serious threat to their business. Today, it’s a different story: low cost carriers (LCCs) are responsible for 28% of all air traffic worldwide. Unable to grow in the regional leisure segment, they are now starting to break into the intercontinental and corporate travel markets that have historically belonged to the ‘traditional’ airlines.
Driving change in the industry
The LCCs have also shaken up the airline industry by driving new business models – especially stripping down airline tickets so passengers themselves can decide what services they want to pay for.
Travel agents face two major challenges: business agents are seeing a rising demand from corporations to book LCCs and leisure agents also want to be able to offer their customers packages with low cost airline options.
This means they need to face up to how to integrate LCCs in their booking systems.
Booking LCC offline: Light Ticketing
For offline agents, Amadeus Light Ticketing product provides an easy solution. Light Ticketing uses a standard booking flow similar to the booking flow for a full service carrier. Flights and fares from LCCs are included in the standard Amadeus availability displays.
Booking LCC online: Our Pyton solution
Online agents can connect easily to a wide range of low cost carriers by using the Pyton flight portal, which is owned by Amadeus. Pyton includes over 90 LCCs, which agents can access seamlessly by setting up just one XML or API connection. This means that they save on development and maintenance costs for multiple API connections.
And, there is one huge advantage: you don’t need to leave the Amadeus system to book the low cost carrier. Meaning less time and work for you!
About the author
Annika Brune spent most her career in the airline industry before joining Amadeus Scandinavia in 2016 as Portfolio Manager for LCCs. “My heart remains in the airline industry, but I’m still part of it at Amadeus and enjoying seeing the benefits that travel agencies and airlines can get from using our technology.”