Lufthansa Group redirects commercial strategy

  • Airlines differentiate booking channels
  • Modular fare packages and new customised offers
  • A per ticket earnings increase to be reinforced by direct booking methods
  • Development of a new booking channel to create direct link with sales partners 

The airlines of the Lufthansa Group – Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines and SWISS –will increase their profitability by redirecting their commercial strategy. This new commercial strategy is to ensure that, in future, a greater portion of the revenue will be earned from flight operations; the actual area of service to the customer.

Lars Redeligx, Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) of Brussels Airlines, says: “The percentage of revenue generated from the sale of flight tickets is dwindling. Compared to other service and system partners reporting higher margins and returns, airlines as the actual providers of flights are earning ever less. With the realignment of our distribution strategy, we wish to counteract this trend."

In the future, the airlines will therefore offer their services on a more flexible and modular basis with individualised price options and extra services. The new price concepts, such as the newly introduced travel options of Brussels Airlines (Check&Go, Light&Relax, Flex&Fast, Bizz&Class), enable passengers to select the exact services that meet their requirements(*). Based on the principle “you only pay for the services you want”, different bundles will offer a variety of services. More customised services will better reflect customers’ preferences.

The new commercial strategy also includes a clear cost differentiation in the various booking channels. At present, the costs for using global distribution systems (GDS) are several times higher than for other booking methods, such as its own website In total, the GDS costs amount to a three-digit million euro amount each year for the Lufthansa Group. These services, however, are primarily used by travel agencies. A large number of services are paid by the Lufthansa Group carriers but are only partly used by them. Among others, the GDS services comprise functionalities which offer many extra services in addition to the basic features of booking, processing and supplying flight tickets. Examples include the option of combining and booking of world-wide, multi-airline flight offers, as well as an integrated booking and invoice processing.

From 1 September 2015 onward, the Lufthansa Group airlines will therefore include a surcharge, the “Distribution Cost Charge” (DCC), of EUR 16 for every ticket issued using a GDS. The new charge will not be applied to flight tickets purchased using own booking channels. This predominately includes the airlines’ websites (,,, as well as the call centre and ticket counter at the airports. Travel agencies will also be able to book tickets without the DCC using the online portal at Customers of Lufthansa Group Airlines can of course count on continued fare transparency. The display of the ticket will always show the final fare.

Innovative extra services and enhanced price options require suitable sales technology. The technology of our existing  sales systems’  cannot adequately display the individual offers, with their variety of product components. The Lufthansa Group’s airlines are therefore in the process of developing a new booking method to enable sales partners to connect to their IT systems directly based on the new IATA data standard NDC (New Distribution Capability). The first NDC pilot project is currently being tested at Swiss.

CCO Lars Redeligx explains: “Airlines wish to market their innovative offerings across all channels as it is common in other industries, but the current structures and contracts do not allow us to do so. With our new sales strategy, we want to put an end to this and provide our customers with the necessary tailored benefits and services they are looking for and wherever they wish to find them”.


(*)As of summer 2015, Lufthansa, Austrian and SWISS introduce also a new fare concept on European routes.


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About Brussels Airlines

Brussels Airlines is the home carrier of Belgium and one of the four network airlines of the Lufthansa Group. It connects the European capital from Brussels Airport with over 85 destinations, 17 of which are in Sub Saharan Africa. The company employs more than 3,300 people and operates 43 aircraft.

Brussels Airlines aims to emit 50% less CO2 by 2030 compared to 2019 and plans to be carbon neutral by 2050. The airline is participating in the Stargate Project led by Brussels Airport and is therefore part of the testing ground for sustainable aviation at its home base. In addition, the airline signed the Circular Economy agreement of the Antwerp Management School in 2021. The airline was the first to transport Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) through the CEPS-pipeline connecting Brussels Airport early 2023. By end 2024, Brussels Airlines will have welcomed five state-of-the-art Airbus A320neo allowing the airline to significantly lower its CO2- and noise-emissions on its medium-haul network.

As an ambassador of its country, Brussels Airlines brings the world to Belgium and the best of Belgium to the world, among others through collaborations with Belgian Star Chefs, Belgian culinary products and the Belgian Icons, specially painted aircraft that honour a Belgian iconic person, team or event to promote Belgian culture worldwide.

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About Star Alliance

The Star Alliance network was established in 1997 as the first truly global airline alliance, based on a customer value proposition of global reach, worldwide recognition and seamless service. Since inception, it has offered the largest and most comprehensive airline network, with a focus on improving customer experience across the Alliance journey.

Overall, the Star Alliance network currently offers more than 10,000 daily flights to almost 1,200 airports in 184 countries.

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