2023 was a monumental year for New Distribution Capability (NDC) and modern airline distribution strategies. Global airlines made significant moves to implement distribution strategies around NDC that gave them more control of the offers and services presented to travel agencies for their customers.

As of January 2024, monthly NDC transactions made up almost 17% of ARC transactions, up from 8% in January 2023. At the time of this writing, 30 airlines have integrated with ARC Direct Connect to process NDC transactions.

After more than 10 years of slow, incremental growth, we’re now in a world where the shares of NDC and modern retailing transactions are exponentially growing.

Modern airline distribution is here to stay.

With the accelerated adoption of NDC across the air travel industry, ARC has shifted from NDC readiness to a focus on enhancing our NDC partnerships and helping our airline partners deliver richer, personalized traveler experiences.

ARC believes in NDC’s ability to create a modern, flexible retailing environment that meets customer expectations

ARC believes in NDC’s ability to create a modern, flexible retailing environment that meets customer expectations, which is why we’re working to unlock its benefits for every stakeholder.

ARC created the NDC Advancement Working Group to provide a forum for the air travel industry to collaborate and create best practices that address noncompetitive challenges. We’re leveraging our unique position within the ecosystem to bring together travel agencies, airlines and technology providers together to discuss NDC servicing pain points and work toward solutions that work for everyone.

While the first few meetings were virtual, we were happy to bring the group together in Austin, Texas, in February. For the first time, we had agencies, technology providers and airlines in the same room to discuss the three biggest issues TMCs and other travel agencies are having with NDC. They are:

  • The inability to see updates and changes to a PNR.

  • Tracking unused tickets and the rules around exchanging EDIFACT tickets for NDC tickets.

  • Rules visibility – before, during and after the sale.

We also discussed the agency approach to NDC and how global agencies are leveraging their experience with NDC in the international markets and applying it to their U.S. NDC implementations.

The next meeting of this group will take place in April during Elevate + TravelConnect, the perfect setting for this type of industry collaboration and an opportunity to dive deeper into these issues and discover how we can help to alleviate some of these obstacles in order to accelerate NDC adoption.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution for the issues that stakeholders are having with NDC, which is why we’re also taking learnings from the NDC Advancement Working Group and enhancing ARC Direct Connect to help airlines and agencies better manage NDC transactions.

We’re focused on helping our partners and stakeholders transform their distribution strategies to improve the travel buying experience for their customers, but we’re also staying aware of the opportunities of tomorrow. Our goal is to reduce the friction between airlines and travel agencies and support their content needs however it’s distributed.

We’re excited about the progress we’re making within the NDC Advancement Working Group, and we look forward to sharing updates with our stakeholders throughout 2024.

Visit our new ARC Direct Connect page or reach out to us to talk about how we can help your organization unlock the power of modern airline distribution.