Technology

Amadeus talks NDC: “Airlines and travel agencies need to work together”

Gianni Pisanello

NDC holds great promise for Australia’s travel industry.

A few years ago, when IATA developed and released the first version of NDC to its members, it signified the start of a digital revolution in our industry and the digitisation of travel.

So what’s all the hype about? The potential possibilities for innovating will be enabled through more flexible technology that will mean Airlines will be able to deliver their offerings faster than before.

As a platform that can connect travel agents to airline booking systems, NDC will drive innovation, improve industry collaboration and enhance choice for travellers.

But for NDC to truly take off across the industry, we need the right version of the standard, as a well as implementing it using standard workflows.

We need to ensure that it responds to travel providers and seller requirements. In order to succeed, the entire travel industry needs to work together to deliver new services and improve travel experience for consumers.

As a global Travel Platform, we also recognise that we have a responsibility to make NDC work for the travel industry as whole, and are determined to work with all players to get a solution that works for all – this means having discussions and integrating feedback from airlines, travel agencies, travel management companies (TMCs), metas and OTAs.

First, and foremost, large-scale adoption will be driven by having all of the airline’s content available in all channels. With Amadeus integrating NDC, recently achieving duel IATA Level 3 NDC certification as an aggregator, airlines will not only have access to sophisticated retailing capabilities, but will be able to distribute all their offers including ancillaries to agencies and TMCs.

Airlines will be able to become more innovative and creative in the way they merchandise products (bundled or unbundled) through travel agents such as lounge access, and in turn enabling travel agents to offer more choice to travellers, through richer product descriptions and sales points for travellers.

One of the airlines making great strides in NDC is Qantas. The major airline joined our NDC-X program in June, to enable travel agents to book NDC content alongside other travel content, enabling greater personalisation for travellers.

As part of our longstanding partnership, Amadeus will have access to the Qantas Distribution Platform (QDP), to continue to provide travel sellers with all of the airline’s offering, through the agents’ preferred booking channel, to allow the full booking flow of ‘shop, order, pay’ service to take place using the NDC standard.

Airlines and travel agencies also need to work together to co-design travel platforms for airline content to be accessed on agent booking tools.

This is why we’ve partnered with Flight Centre, to input into the design and build on our NDC-enabled solution, to enable travel sellers worldwide to shop, order and pay for flights and related services, as well as change and cancel bookings.

Travel sellers like Flight Centre can then give their customers an even wider choice of fares.

Lastly, we can’t forget that travellers are at the heart of this NDC evolution. As an industry, we must continue to ask how we can use NDC to deliver better journeys, to create more value for every traveller, and to make travel buying more inspiring and exciting.

We know that travellers look for three main things when planning and purchasing a trip – product, service and convenience.

But today, the choices can be overwhelming as travellers search for flights and what travellers value changes depending on the content of their trip.

With NDC, this gives airlines and travel agents an opportunity to present their offers in new, creative ways that move beyond price and leveraging data to provide a more personalized offer that improves conversation, satisfaction and brand loyalty.


This article was written by Gianni Pisanello, vice president of NDC-X program at Amadeus.

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