AfroAtlas taps into Lufthansa’s NDS platform in bid to make African air travel cheaper
Startup travel aggregator AfroAtlas announced it has established a new partnership with Lufthansa Group that has given it direct access to an Artificial Intelligence-powered platform that could reduce the cost of access to air transport services in eastern Africa.
AfroAtlas CEO Ahmed Ugas says the German company’s New Distribution Capability (NDC) platform will consolidate online portals and help tame many of the challenges passengers, travel agencies, and airlines experience in booking and changing travel. Airlines on the NDC platform access information such as routes with high passenger traffic and comparative rates charged. The collaboration also means AfroAtlas now has a broad base of users from Lufthansa Group’s passenger airlines — Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Eurowings and Swiss Air.
According to Ugas, local airlines will have free access to the platform as well. “We are giving both local and international carriers equal footing in air travel experience,” he said. Airlines on the NDC platform will be able to access information such as routes with high passenger traffic and comparative rates charged, while tour agencies and travelers also will get data on the cheapest airlines for different routes. The startup hopes the convenience and time saving nature of the new platform will attract eastern Africa carriers such as Air Tanzania, Ethiopian Airlines, Kenya Airways, RwandAir and Uganda Airlines. The timing may be right, as most of Africa’s airlines struggle to recover from the disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic.