One year ago — on April 3, 2023 — American Airlines began to pull up to 40% of its fares from Edifact in an effort to shift bookings to its direct or New Distribution Capability channels.

Travel management company AmTrav ever since has been tracking American’s fare availability and price differentials, and on Wednesday will release the one-year review of its findings, which Business Travel News previewed. The report is similar to its 2023 report, released in January.

Based on its customer bookings, the TMC found that on average during the period of April 2023 to March 2024, American’s direct and NDC fares were lower than their Edifact (legacy GDS) counterparts 49% of the time. That breaks down to 47% of the time during the last nine months of 2023 and 52% of the time for the first quarter of 2024, according to AmTrav.

The difference between American’s Edifact and NDC fares also has been inching upward. AmTrav found that during the one-year period direct and NDC fares were 10% lower on average than the available fares in Edifact, when there was a difference. Those differentials were 9.5% on average for the last nine months of 2023 and 11.2% for the first three months of 2024.

AmTrav for the full year found that domestic fares were lower through direct or NDC channels 48% of the time and averaged 10.5% lower. For international routes, those fares were lower than Edifact fares 53% of the time on average and averaged about 7.2% lower. 

The report also highlights the differences by fare brand. Tickets in American’s Economy Flexible tier showed the most variations. For the last nine months of 2023, lower Economy Flexible fares were available on direct or NDC channels than on Edifact 93% of the time on average, and they were priced 38% lower on average than those available on Edifact. For the first quarter of 2024, those figures were 89% and 37%, respectively. 

“As promised, Basic Economy was largely removed from corporate tools. But most Economy Flexible and Premium fares were also removed, making those more expensive fares even more expensive in most corporate booking tools,” according to AmTrav. “And [many] economy fares that make up a majority of American’s sales were also removed, particularly starting in August 2023.”

Source: Business Travel News

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