Lufthansa may be "standing firm" on its controversial surcharge and denying any significant impact so far, but the wagons of the move's opponents are circling.
At the CAPA World Aviation Summit in Helsinki this week, both Amadeus and Travelport attacked the airline for the introduction of the Euro 16 levy on all bookings made on intermediaries via global distribution systems.
Nothing unusual in that - all parties involved in the saga have been trading blows throughout the summer ahead of its launch in September.
Travelport's global head of product and marketing, Ian Heywood, for example, called the move "anti-customer", "anti-consumer" and "unsophisticated".
The company claimed that it facilitated some $3.9 billion in sales for Lufthansa during 2014.
He added that the airline had even admitted that the portal it created for agents to make bookings directly was not "fit for purpose".
IATA's new distribution regional implementation manager, David Rutnam, in the middle seat on the three-person panel, like a rose between two thorns, declined to add perspective on any aspect of the Lufthansa surcharge during the discussion ("we do not comment on individual members").
So it was left to Amadeus's vice president of industry affairs, Svend Leirvaag, to turn the heat up yet another notch.
Following on from a recent statement by ETTSA (both Amadeus and Travelport are members of the Brussels-based lobbying group), which argued that there are "rules to follow to be in this business"of distribution, Leirvaag highlighted that regulators will now play a major role in how the saga develops... or, indeed, concludes.
Heywood earlier said that he did not think the Lufthansa surcharge will be "successful", but Leirvaag said it could in fact be the reverse although this would entail other airlines copying the carrier's move, effectively beginning an overhaul of the entire distribution ecosystem for airlines.
An informal poll of IATA members at a recent event suggested 96 out of 118 members thought their airlines might go the same way.
Furthermore, he argued that such a scenario could be challenged legally by regulators and others because airlines would be operating outside of the regulatory frameworks that exist (such as the European CRS Code of Conduct).
He claimed that because Lufthansa allegedly suggested fellow carriers should follow suit at a recent IATA meeting in the US, that "theoretically" some may consider this as "collusion" by the airlines with one another.
Given the rise in temperature that often arises when such words are used, Leirvaag repeated that such a chain of events and any potential regulatory interpretation was purely "hypothetical".
NB:Lufthansa airport image via Shutterstock.
NB2: Disclosure - author's travel and accommodation costs were supported by CAPA event sponsor Travelport.