“We, travel agents, are the victims of a fight between the GDS and the airlines”, declared Laurent Abitbol, president of the management board of Selectour, during the Selectour congress.
“Our negotiating power will be essential,” he added during a roundtable discussion on the GIE ASHA. In France, we are too small, even with 6 billion euros in business volume. We are in ultimate negotiation with a large global network to enter into a large global EIG of negotiations. I want us to be strong. We must be an international network, with heavyweights in business travel and leisure. “
Would this deal be with Amex GBT? Asked about this, the entourage of the boss of Selectour smiles. In any case, this hypothesis is probable, Marietton and TMC having one great thing in common: the American fund Certares as a shareholder, at around 50% in both cases.
Wonder Booking, an in-house SBT
In the meantime, the agencies must fight to gain access to fares and their conditions of access, in particular by air. Hence the issue of technologies, which was invited during this round table.
To this end, the network is betting on the Wonder Booking reservation platform, of which it is a shareholder. “It’s a travel management platform for leisure and business agencies,” explains Moncef Khandir, Managing Director of Wondermiles / Wonder Booking. Wonder Booking allows the GIE to get rid of the monopoly ”of the GDS. It is also “to face the surge of OTAs like TripActions”, he adds.
“As a network, we owe it to ourselves to offer a solution to members,” continues Jean-Noël Lefeuvre, CEO of Selectour. We will take advantage of the implementation of this new tool to amplify the change and support our members in integrating larger margins and favoring commercial choices according to our agreements. “
Jean-Marie Seveno, president of GIE ASHA, recalled the context. Large companies have been switching to the NDC standard for a few years, which means losing distribution revenues from GDS. “We did not want to play yellow vests against the system, but we decided to take our technological independence. “Hence the merger with Wondermiles, to develop Wonder Booking.
240 branches deployed
“First, we are deploying it on leisure agencies, around 240 are installed”, indicates Jean-Marie Seveno, president of GIE ASHA. The business agencies will follow, when the profiles will be repatriated.
“We can broadcast on Air France and Lufthansa. We are also considering direct links to hotel centers and an aggregator, ”he explains. All back office tools are connected to Wonder Booking, for accounting feedback, adds Jean-Noël Lefeuvre.
All prices are available on Wonder Booking as well as on the Lufthansa.com site, adds Thadee Nawrocki, general manager of sales for France of the Lufthansa group. “We also offer Continuous Pricing, which is dynamic pricing available only in the NDC environment. “These are prices created virtually between two levels, and” competitive “. The German company Lufthansa, which has taken the NDC turn since 2015, has not however signed with Amadeus. “NDC content is currently only accessible on Wonder Booking. “
Two tools, two pricing
The agencies therefore have two tools, considered complementary, with different pricing: Wonder Booking and Amadeus NDC X. The tables of prices invoiced to them were displayed in plenary.
“It will be a shocking duo to have the two platforms in our hands,” says Christophe Jacquet, general manager of the Havas Voyages network. We have it exclusivity, which gives GIE ASHA a competitive technological advantage, and shows that we are innovative. The barrier to entry is colossal. “
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