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Published on Thursday, February 18, 2021

Emirates to slap fee on bookings made through GDSs

Travel agents booking Emirates flights through traditional Global Distribution Systems from July will be charged a surcharge of up to US$25 (£18).

The fees will be introduced on the same day the airline launches a range of content and services on Emirates Gateway, its NDC-enabled direct platform.

From 1 July, Emirates said agents will have access through the portal to differentiated ticket pricing, such as dedicated promotional fares and pre-sales, the ability to sell excess baggage and differentiated pricing for select ancillary services.

The Emirates Gateway will also contain additional 'rich content', although it was unclear what that includes.

But following the switch to the NDC-portal, Emirates said it will start charging between US$14 and US$25 for bookings that continue to be made via GDS.

The Dubai crrier said it needs to offset the rising costs of selling tickets through traditional distribution platforms.

"Agencies not signed up to the Emirates Gateway can continue to access Emirates' EDIFACT - legacy content through the airline's GDS partners Amadeus, Travelport, Travelsky, Infini and Sirena," the airline said.

"However, to mitigate the higher cost Emirates incurs through GDS distribution, from 01 July 2021, bookings made via GDS will incur a distribution surcharge ranging between USD 14 and 25 per ticket depending on sector length."

Chief Commercial Officer Adnan Kazim said it was 'encouraged' by the support it has received from trade partners and GDSs.

"Emirates firmly believes in healthy, long-term relationships with all players in the travel eco-system, and we will continue to work hard to nurture the relationships that we've built through the years by providing great value and service," he said.

"Our goal is to empower our trade partners to deliver even better customer experiences, and we are pleased to introduce the next batch of new exclusive features and benefits for them on Emirates Gateway."

He said the new portal had been launched to 'address the limitations of current legacy systems and provide a wide range of additional content and options for agents'.

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