Coming out of the GBTA 2022 Convention, our industry reached a significant milestone with the selection of Visa’s Kim Hamer as Business Travel News’ 2022 Travel Manager of the Year for her work integrating corporate-tailored New Distribution Capability (NDC) content at scale through the agency channel.
It wasn’t too long ago that our industry viewed omnichannel retailing solutions, including NDC, as disrupters that could potentially displace other stakeholders in the value chain. The journey to industry-wide adoption of direct connect solutions for airline retailing has taken time. It started many years ago with airline direct solutions, the rise of Farelogix in the early 2000s, and then the introduction of the direct connect concept with NDC by IATA in 2012. The last few years have seen steady progress as airlines, agencies and travel managers have realized the benefits.
At ARC, we’ve worked over the years to enhance our settlement platform to support flexible, modern approaches to airline retailing that seek to better align the travel buying experience across channels. Having successfully completed a test of this platform with British Airways in 2018, we understand the potential for NDC solutions across the supply chain and believe our partners and support the industry at large will continue to explore solutions that add value to the travel buying experience.
Access to Content
One of the main benefits to NDC-enabled retailing solutions is the agency and corporate access to content that was previously only available through an airline’s direct channel, additionally corporate contracted fares and ancillary bundles are now accessible. This gives both travel advisors and travel managers increased options that enable more personalized itineraries that fit their travelers’ preferences.
Corporate Pricing and Bundles
NDC solutions enable airlines to get creative and potentially introduce dynamic pricing. Airlines get better data on the traveler that is shopping, which allows them to provide offers that are more meaningful and integrate corporate-specific rates and add-ons.
Our industry has taken great strides in the past 10 years to introduce and implement new technologies that update legacy systems involved in the travel buying experience. Although there have been both internal and external factors to overcome during that time, and while this is not the first corporation to access corporate content via NDC, this is a clear milestone in the journey.
There is room in the travel buying ecosystem for multiple solutions and stakeholder roles that help travelers book trips with tailored, individual preferences. It’s encouraging to see these new technologies and solutions be celebrated at an industry level, which will help other stakeholders in this ecosystem realize the value and benefits that come from them.
I invite anybody who’s interested in NDC to explore the ARC NDC webpage to see if it’s a solution that fits their organization.