Satu Dahl speaks with Alexander Proschka, Hahn Air executive vice president commercial to learn more about the versatile airline’s unique business model
Despite the challenges Covid-19 has brought to the airline industry, Hahn Air, a German scheduled and executive charter airline, has witnessed growth in its partner network. Hahn Air has been offering indirect distribution services to other airlines since 1999 and today, the carrier provides ticketing solutions to 100,000 travel agencies in 190 markets and has a partner network that encompasses more than 350 airlines.
Alexander Proschka, Hahn Air’s executive vice president commercial provides more insight into the carrier’s achievements during the year. “We are very proud to have already integrated 14 new partners this year despite the difficulties the industry is facing. Of the new partners, Air Century, Air Liaison, Blue Islands, Corendon Airlines Europe, Divi Divi Air, Eastern Airways, Emetebe Airlines, Jet Fly and Tayaran Jet joined our X1-Air network. They are now available in Amadeus, Sabre and Travelport under the designator X1. Cambodia Airways and Corendon Airlines complemented our H1-Air network and can be booked under the code H1 in all major global distribution systems (GDSs).
“And finally, Bamboo Airways, Cambodia Airways, Eastern Airlines and Thai Smile Airways have signed an interline agreement with Hahn Air and are closing their distribution gaps with our product HR-169. They are now available for ticketing in markets where they are not participating in the local billing and settlement systems.”
Proschka says the company is constantly developing our own new distribution capability (NDC) platform. “With this platform, we are giving our partner airlines access to an additional distribution channel as well as the world of NDC without having to develop their own solution.”
Strength in numbers
Of course, like the entire airline and tourism industry, Hahn Air has felt the consequences of the global pandemic. “As a strong partner of travel agencies and airlines, our business is affected when the business of our partners is not doing well”, Proschka confirms. “However, we are also in the fortunate position to have a strong standing with 20 years of experience, a worldwide set-up, a network of over 350 partner airlines and 100,000 travel agency partners.”
For the phase of recovery, Proschka explains the company will focus its efforts on standing by its partners and supporting them in getting their businesses back on track. “We will also ensure our airline partners’ availability in the GDSs on our HR-169 ticket as soon as they take up their routes again. We see a strong demand for our H1-Air and X1-Air solutions amongst airlines looking to sell via GDSs. Airlines looking for interlining solutions are also keen to take advantage of our strong partner network.
“We expect to add many additional partners that will then become available under the codes H1 and X1 in the major GDSs. Finally, we are further developing our NDC platform by adding new partners, new content and new features.”
Every year, millions of passengers travel between 4,000 locations using Hahn Air’s HR-169 tickets and according to Hahn Air, the carrier is the first and only airline worldwide that offers free and comprehensive reimbursement in case of insolvency of the operating carrier. Proschka explains more: “With our leading distribution solutions, we enable partner airlines to sell tickets through more than 100,000 travel agencies in 190 markets. Our solutions are literally for airlines of any business model. Our product HR-169 enables airlines that have at least one GDS contract in place to sell tickets in markets where they are not connected to a local settlement system (such as BSP, ARC or TCH). The H1-Air and X1-Air are the products for airlines wanting to enter the GDS world or looking to expand their ticket sales to additional GDSs.
“For example, the Jetstar Group, ANA and Vueling Airlines opted for our HR-169 product. They can sell their flights under their own two-letter-codes in the GDS while unlocking their non-BSP markets for indirect ticket sales”, Proschka says. “X1-Air partners and H1-Air partners, like SpiceJet, Corendon Airlines and Flair Airlines outsourced their indirect distribution to us. They can now sell their flights in major GDSs under the codes X1 or H1 respectively. And finally, we have partners like Jeju Air, VietJet Air and Fastjet that are combining our products, thereby exploiting the full potential of primary and secondary markets.”
When it comes to the future of the aviation market, Proschka says the industry needs to brace itself for a difficult winter as more airlines will rely on government aid to survive. “It is much too early to predict how the market will develop, consolidate and shift with lowered customer demand, reduced business travel and inconveniences due to health and safety restrictions. We are just at the beginning of a fundamental change in air travel. Only time will tell what the ‘new normal’ of our industry will look like.”
Post-Covid, he says the industry will continue to see an emphasis on security. “When considering buying travel, passengers want to see their personal health as well as their financial investment protected. Hahn Air’s free insolvency protection Securtix is automatically included with every HR-169 ticket and caters to this extra need for security and protection. Now more than ever, our insolvency protection serves as a strong argument for travel agents to sell our partners’ tickets.
“In a post-Covid scenario, airlines will see the value of a Hahn Air partnership even more as it saves them distribution costs and resources while allowing them to exploit the entire world of indirect distribution and generate incremental revenue. On the path to recovery, every single ticket counts.”