A new Qantas distribution method is introduced today as part of a wider digital booking overhaul by the Australian carrier.

The Qantas Channel is a new agreement between the airline and its agency partners that provides access to a “wide range” of the airline’s fares, products and information for agents.

Qantas claims thousands of agencies around the world have signed up to the Qantas Channel, representing around 90% of its revenue from trade partners.

Agents who have signed up will eventually be able to offer clients new content sourced from the Iata NDC-enabled Qantas Distribution Platform (QDP), which is not currently available via traditional indirect booking systems.

But agencies that fail to register for the Qantas Channel may incur a channel fee, in addition to no longer being able to access the widest range of traditional fares made available via indirect channels or new content via the QDP from August 1.

The airline claims the Qantas Channel “is set to modernise the way agencies book fares and deliver personalised experiences to customers”.

It forms part of a broader digital strategy unveiled in February that aims to enhance the airline’s booking systems.

Qantas said at the time that that it had partnered with GDSs Sabre, Amadeus and Travelport to make the Qantas Channel available to agents globally and was working with other regional GDS partners to deliver the channel.

Executive manager sales and distribution, Igor Kwiatkowski, said: “The launch of the Qantas Channel, together with our new distribution platform will, over time, empower our agency partners to deliver more enriched and personalised experiences for our mutual customers.

“We’ve observed other international airlines adopt new distribution models and recognise that the adoption of the new technology takes time.

“That’s why we’ve deliberately taken a phased, collaborative approach so that the Qantas Channel, and the new content that it will offer, can be delivered in the most seamless way possible.

“We’ll continue to work closely with our agency partners to prepare for the introduction of the new technology, with the benefits of our new distribution platform expected to start flowing through in the coming months.”

He added: “Greater reward and recognition of our Frequent Flyers and the ability to deliver targeted offers for our agency partners are just some of the benefits that are in the pipeline.

“Ultimately, our vision is to offer our agency partners a bigger toolkit than what they can offer our customers today.”

The change comes in the wake of Qantas signing a three-year marketing deal worth almost A$25 million to promote tourism to New South Wales from key international markets including the UK.

The focus will be on digital and social media platforms, trade partner campaigns, public relations activities plus trade and media visits.

New South Wales attracted more than 4.3 million inbound visitors and 35.6 million from around Australia in the year to March, up 7% from the previous year.