Lufthansa City Center International launches global travel distribution platform LUCY
Lufthansa City Center International (LCCI) enters a new digital era: The global travel agency franchise network has just recently launched its own distribution platform called LUCY. LUCY is an own, fully customized and branded Lufthansa City Center (LCC) frontend, based on the global travel technology platform of Atriis Technologies Ltd. By this, international LCC travel agencies and their customers have direct access to content of various airlines, hotels and car rental suppliers. All GDS contents are integrated as well. A distinct change in the operational processes within the travel agency itself. LUCY was presented to all international LCC members on the first joint conference of LCCI with the US-based Travel Leaders Network in Las Vegas.
In the past months, LCC members from Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, Austria, Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia thoroughly tested LUCY. These “pilots” helped with concrete requirements to further develop and adapt the technology to the operational needs within a travel agency.
With LUCY, LCCI presented its franchisees also an attractive commercial offer, as the monthly fees, among others, are considerably lower than the market average.
“The first flow of bookings commenced in June, and the implementation process involved proved to be straightforward with members commenting on how easy it actually was”, explains Uwe Müller, Managing Director at LCCI GmbH. “This new platform takes us a huge step forward in optimizing process efficiencies within our franchisees’ operations and uniting traditional external booking technologies with NDC-based offers.”
LUCY, as a multi-provider platform focusing on state-of-the-art distribution technology via NDC, also integrates the traditional GDS providers Amadeus, Sabre and Travelport. Today, various airlines, car rental and train suppliers such as Heathrow Express or Amtrak can be booked via direct connect. From the airline segment, LUCY integrates the offers of Lufthansa Group, British Airways, American Airlines and almost the entire range of international Low-Cost-Carriers. Soon, Air France/KLM, Air Canada and Emirates are to be added. Also, insurance providers and car rental suppliers follow.
Jürgen Siebenrock, Vice President of Sales Home Markets & Global Key Account Management of Lufthansa Group Hub Airlines: “We are very happy to welcome LCCI to our Lufthansa Group NDC Partner Program. Improved technological solutions allow us to display future-oriented offering, more flexibility and transparency. Apart from the classical search, book and ticketing features, the users can also use all ancillary services and post-sales activities in LUCY without accessing any additional separate platform.”
Also, the international LCC members were excited to learn about the new platform. “It is essential that we are pioneers and take full advantage of this major step forward. I have been delighted by the great feedback from a number of corporate customers who were enthused to see how flexibly we can now integrate their needs and processes,” comments Matteo Pellizzari of LCC Vertous (Verona, Italy), who was one of the LUCY pilots. “Already in the pilot phase, I have introduced the system to many corporate customers who were very enthusiastic to see how flexibly we can integrate their needs and processes now.” Also, Jan van Steen, LCC Omnia (Leuven, Belgium) positively comments his pilot phase. “Although not all developments are fully finished we liked LUCY from the very beginning. Direct connect solutions are our future which has just started now. Sure, the mentality in travel agencies having used GDS now for more than 20 years needs to adapt, and this change needs time. The very simple usage of LUCY, however, leaves us very positive that this will easily happen.”
LUCY launched at joint conference of LCCI and Travel Leaders in the USA
LUCY was launched at the first joint conference of LCCI and Travel Leaders Network. This premiere happened right after the annual Travel Leaders conference in Las Vegas to initially connect the corporate experts of both networks on an operational level. 40 LCC offices from 21 countries met in the US, together with 200 Travel Leaders Associates.
In workshops and plenary sessions, the travel experts discussed current topics such as reporting, profile management, and online booking solutions. On top, they strengthened their connections to the LCC Global Incoming Network. The conference also focused on a comprehensive upgrade of the international LCC corporate concept. As of July, international LCC members specialized in corporate travel benefit from an enhanced new service and sales concept with increased support services out of the LCC Headquarters.