SAS Scandinavian Airlines is pushing ahead with its new distribution capability (NDC) strategy, with plans to increase current EDIFACT surcharges and remove its cheapest fare option from traditional channels next month.

Starting April 22, the carrier’s Go Light economy fares, which don’t include any checked or carry-on baggage, will be removed from EDIFACT technology for short-haul flights as well as flights departing from Japan, according to the carrier’s website.

The airline’s current €4.50 GDS surcharge on EDIFACT bookings, introduced in 2023 when SAS first announced its NDC strategy, will also increase to €5.50 per fare component. The surcharge increase will be applicable to “all GDS providers” expect for Sabre, where EDIFACT bookings will be charged at €8.50 per fare component.

Certain products, such as Group, Bulk and Travel Pass tickets, as well as travel extras, will be “initially” excluded from the surcharge.

All surcharges are waived via the carrier’s NDC connections, though a €1.50 surcharge per fare component on Go Light fares applies.

SAS NDC content is currently available through Amadeus and Sabre. A planned integration with Travelport is set to go live in “spring/summer 2024,” while an additional integration with APG is planned for sometime this summer.

The carrier, on its website, said the EDIFACT GDS surcharge “is part of a broader strategy to improve efficiency and modernize distribution.”

“SAS can no longer continue to support and carry the high cost of legacy technology, SAS will apply a surcharge to cover some cost of distribution to enable continued distribution via EDIFACT,” it said.

The Nordic carrier began its NDC rollout in October, after abandoning plans for a wholesale distribution model following a new deal with Amadeus in March 2023.

SAS was also this week granted bankruptcy court approval on a debt restructuring plan after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the United States in 2022.

The ruling will allow the carrier to exit bankruptcy with a $1.2 billion financing package from a consortium of investors, including Air France-KLM and the Danish government. The $1.2 billion deal includes $475 million in new unlisted equity and $725 million in secured convertible debt.

Commenting on the decision, SAS CEO Anko van der Werff, said, “We look forward to emerging as a competitive and financially stronger airline with a stable equity structure.”

Van der Werff had previously said the renegotiation of its deal with Amadeus was a key part of its restructuring strategy.

*This story originally appeared in Business Travel News Europe, a fellow Northstar Travel Group brand.

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