February 3, 2023

What is the next step of airline distribution? Get on a bus? 

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Ole Hammer Mortensen

Ole Hammer Mortensen

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Ole Hammer Mortensen

Ole Hammer Mortensen

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Recently I wrote an article where I challenged the current distribution structure in pricing, selling and document travel by flights. I quoted Michael O’Leary, Ryan Air. “The problem with aviation is that for 50 years it’s been populated by people who think it’s this wondrous sexual experience; that it’s like James Bond, and wonderful, and we’ll all be flying first class, when really it’s just a bloody bus with wings.”  

I got curious and tried to find out the cost and available software products for bus companies. When we are talking about big bus companies it is a little tricky to get transaction cost, as I was being asked about number of buses, routes and passengers. Finally, I did find an interesting product.  

First of all, I asked ChatGPT if bus distribution software could be used? Here is their answer: 

Yes, Can Bus seat distribution can be used for airline seat distribution. This technology uses algorithms to optimize seat allocation and balance passenger weight distribution for safety and comfort. The principles behind seat distribution in buses and airlines are similar and can be adapted for use in both modes of transportation. 

Then I looked at what they could deliver of AI and total package. You will be surprised of the dept of their offerings: Here is the LINK with the questions you may think about and here is a LINK to their offering and pricing. 

There are quite a big number of offers out there and it is a little fascinating to learn from that industry. Of course, there are differences between the 2 industries and designing the right product need planning, insight and wisdom.  

However, look at the corporate travel airline industry and weep. YES, the system does work and makes it difficult to change especially because the GDS`s apart from China`s Travelsky are owned by Capital funds being happy with their ROI and wish to maintain status que.  

Apart from a few new players like Spotnana and open minded TMC`s like FCm and ATPI we are still stuck with 12-year-old NDC as an alternative. 

I am aware that a number of airlines are forcing changes by charging the GDS fees and in the end the customers (passengers). It is going to be interesting months and years to come. 

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