SAS new distribution model

In May, SAS announced its new distribution model to come into effect mid-September, 2023. An updated timeline for the program start is 02 October 2023. As part of the model, SAS will continuously add options to travel agents to source New Distribution Capability (NDC) content while continuing distribution in GDS via Edifact. SAS is now pleased to announce a new long-term distribution agreement with Sabre that includes NDC connectivity. In addition to Sabre, SAS has previously announced a new distribution agreement with Amadeus.

The purpose of the new distribution model is to enable our travel agent partners to provide you as our customer with the best possible offering and experience.

NDC is a data exchange format based on Offer and Order management processes for airlines to create and distribute relevant offers to you as a customer, regardless of the distribution channel. With the introduction of NDC, SAS will have the capability to create more modernized and personalized offers with increased product differentiation for you as our customer. This is similar to what we can do through our own website today.

The implementation of the new distribution model will be carried out in steps, starting 02 October 2023. The implications of the first step are summarized below.

Surcharge details

  • Same amount apply regardless of point of sale (see exclusions below)

  • To be charged per fare component (direction/bound). Fare component means a portion of a journey or itinerary between two consecutive fare break points

  • Follows fare rules (i.e. if the ticket is fully refundable the surcharge will be refundable, otherwise the surcharge will not be refunded)

  • Applicable to tickets issued from 02 October 2023 (irrespective of date of booking)

  • Surcharge levels may differ between GDS providers for the Edifact content, information will be made available here as soon as possible

  • Exclusions - Point of sale and point of commencement: China, Hong Kong, Iran, Libya, Tunisia, Yemen, Brazil, Colombia. Group fares, bulk fares and SAS Travel Pass will be excluded from the surcharge initially from all GDS except Travelport


Why does SAS want to change its distribution model?
SAS is on a journey to take our company back to competitiveness through the transformation plan SAS FORWARD. As part of this transformation, we are introducing a new distribution model, changing how we take our product offerings to the market. SAS wants to be at the forefront of modernizing distribution as we believe there is great growth potential in improved retailing. Through the new distribution model, SAS is able to provide travel agents with improved and more personalized content at competitive terms.

Why have you chosen to use NDC?
NDC implies the possibility for the industry to transform the way air products are retailed to corporations, leisure and business travelers by allowing for increased product differentiation, improved time-to-market and access to full and rich air content.
We recognize that it will take some more time before EDIFACT distribution can fully be replaced by NDC distribution. NDC and legacy technology will need to complement each other for years but that is not a reason to stand still and leave innovative and technology-driven retailing unexplored.

What content differentiation will be applicable in phase 1?
All SAS content will initially be available in Edifact. Group, Bulk and Travel Pass (TPC, TPM, TPI) will not be available in NDC due to technical reasons in this first step.

What is a surcharge model?
We will add a fee to certain fare types to cover some of the cost of distribution. Many European airlines are already applying surcharges.

Why is SAS adding a surcharge in Edifact?
The surcharge is part of a broader strategy to improve efficiency and modernize distribution. As new distribution technology has become available, SAS can no longer continue to support and carry the high cost of legacy technology, SAS will apply a surcharge to cover some cost of distribution to enable continued distribution via Edifact. The surcharge levels can vary between different products and GDS providers. Group, Bulk, Travel Pass and Travel Extras are excluded from the surcharge initially for all GDS except Travelport.

Why is SAS adding a surcharge in NDC?
To be able to compete in a price sensitive market we need to offer low fares while also securing profitability in indirect sales channels. SAS is adding a surcharge on our Go Light product as it is a low margin product, a base fare without extra services.

How is Fare Component defined and can you give an example of Fare Break Point?
Fare Component means a portion of a journey or itinerary between two consecutive fare break points. See example below:

Ticket examples


Fare component


Copenhagen - London




Stockholm - London - Stockholm




Outbound: Copenhagen - New York
Inbound: Chicago - Copenhagen




Oslo - Copenhagen - London - Copenhagen - Oslo




What functionalities will be available in external Corporate Booking Tools (CBT)?
Please contact your CBT provider to inquire what capabilities they will offer from the range of capabilities that SAS NDC solution will offer.

What functionalities will be available in SAS Corporate Portal?
The functionalities in SAS Corporate Portal is not impacted by this change.

Are Travel Extras included in the NDC solution?

When we say that Group, Bulk and Travel Pass are not included, what does this mean from 02 October 92023 for SAS, the travel agent and corporate customers?
These fares would still be available in Edifact but they are excluded from surcharge initially (in all GDS except Travelport).