It has taken a couple of years of tough talking, but easyJet has finally found a way to work with the Global Distribution Systems (GDSs) to sell its tickets.
The UK-based low-cost carrier has signed deals with Amadeus and Travelport, becoming the largest low-cost player outside the USA to go the GDS route.
In the past low-costers have kept away from the distribution costs GDSs impose, but in easyJet's case the rise of business travellers amongst its clientele (around 20%) meant it had to find a way to work with them sooner rather than later.
For easyJet the motivation is simple: the ability to sell tickets to corporate buyers but to retain their custom within its website.
For the GDSs the motivation is equally simple: access to "inventory". Their inability to sell easyJet other than manually by logging onto its website is awkward and doesn't provide the travel tracking corporate buyers love.
We will try and explore the finer details of the deal here at Airline Business in the coming days. It is an important move and one that will be watched closely by other low-cost carriers and Sabre, which is not part of this deal yet.