Low-cost Airline Distribution Channels: Direct Distribution, NDC, GDSs, and Low-cost Airline Consolidators

How airline distribution works in a nutshell

What are low-cost carriers (LCCs)?

The main low-cost distribution channels

Direct connection to low-cost carriers

How to use direct connection

Web scraping

How to use web scraping

Global distribution systems in the low-cost world and XML enabled channels

  • The main reason is the distribution fee charged by global distribution systems providers. Since budget airlines struggle to reduce ticket price by any means, indirect distribution via GDSs wasn’t a suitable option.
  • Additional expenses on distribution could negatively affect ticket prices, requiring additional investment in technical infrastructure to offer travel agencies relevant data. That’s why online travel agencies and travel metasearches used web scraping to get flight information from budget carriers.
The table of the major budget airlines in contract for content distribution with GDSs
  1. E-ticketing assumes a complete integration of the airline with equal booking capabilities compared to full-service airlines. Currently, Amadeus mentions WestJet, Vueling, and Norwegian Airlines using this type of ticketing.
  2. Light-ticketing is an e-ticketing type of booking, offering immediate ticket issuing as an advantage. Light-ticketing allows excluding ATPCO from the distribution pipeline, using the XML interface. It is used by several airlines like AirAsia, Spring Airlines, Transavia, and Jet2.
  3. Ticketless booking via SSR e-pay. This type of booking requests the customer’s credit card instead of issuing a ticket. Among the airlines using it are Jetstar, Spirit Airlines, and TUl fly (formerly TUIfly).

How to source tickets from low-cost carriers via global distribution systems

Direct distribution via new distribution capability by IATA

How to use NDC APIs

Dedicated airline consolidators and aggregators for low-cost carriers booking

The number of low-cost airlines supported by Pyton is quite large

How to source tickets via low-cost carrier aggregators’ API

Conclusion

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