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 November 13, 2014
GBTA Introduces Berlin Charter; To Strengthen Relationship Between Airlines and Travel Buyers

 The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) today announced plans to introduce the Berlin Charter, a charter for the business travel industry, designed to further the relationships between airlines and buyers in light of continually evolving pricing and distribution strategies such as IATA's NDC.

This new initiative was announced today by Paul Tilstone, GBTA senior vice president of global development, to 850 delegates at the GBTA Europe Conference being held in Berlin.

Tilstone announced that the Berlin Charter will be finalized for full member review by the end of the year. The Charter will restate the managed travel principles that GBTA originally submitted to IATA during the US Department of Transportation's (DoT) review of Resolution 787, an IATA project proposing a new set of distribution standards for the airline community, entitled New Distribution Capability (NDC).

GBTA will be asking all airline CEOs to endorse the charter to reinforce the vital relationship between the corporate travel buying community with airline leaders as they develop forward distribution and pricing strategies.

"The creation of the Berlin Charter is the next logical step for GBTA to reinforce the needs of the corporate travel buyer as further changes start to emerge through the implementation of NDC," said Tilstone. "It will allow us to ensure that the airline community truly understands the need for control, transparency and data of airline spend as their distribution strategies evolve. Travel buyers will understand which airlines are fully committed to relationships with buyers based on these principles."

Included in the announcement was a commitment by the GBTA Foundation to launch the next version of its Airline Request for Proposal (RFP) toolkit. This new version will include ancillary services, distribution channels and airline surcharging and will be completed by the end of 2015. Speaking about plans for a re-launch of the Aviation RFP Toolkit, Daphne Bryant, executive director of the GBTA Foundation said, "The toolkit will be re-designed to complement the Berlin Charter by providing a pre-contractual framework for the airline and corporate buyer to establish the nature of their relationship, affirming the services the buyer needs and those the airline wishes to provide and through which channels they both wish to work."

GBTA plans to begin discussions with airlines regarding the Berlin Chapter once internal GBTA committee and leadership processes have been completed.