Technology

Flight Centre’s FCM becomes first global TMC to achieve Level 4 NDC certification

FCM Travel Solutions has become the first global travel management company to achieve NDC Level 4 certification by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

Currently the highest level of IATA’s NDC certification program, Level 4 confirms that FCM – part of Flight Centre Travel Group (FCTG) – can provide ‘full offer and order management’.

This means that in addition to booking NDC airline content, the company’s travel consultants can also support changes in travellers’ NDC bookings and flight disruption.

Many airlines, including United Airlines, American Airlines and Lufthansa, have also achieved Level 4 status, but no other global travel management company has reached this level of NDC capability to date.

Jason Toothman (pictured above, left), executive general manager of global air distribution at FCTG, said the company’s new level of certification is another significant milestone on its NDC roadmap.

“We have been able to search and book NDC content with selected partner airlines via our preferred technology aggregators in each of the markets where FCM operates for several months,” he explained.

“However, the ongoing issue around implementing NDC has been the ability to handle bookings which have been disrupted. This applies not only to FCM, but any other TMC or agency capable of making live NDC bookings.

“Disruption handling is a key element of corporate travel management and is often time-critical; receiving a disruption notification, assessing the suitability or proposed alternates and actioning subsequent changes.”

Nicola Ping (pictured above, right), FCM’s manager of air content and distribution for the EMEA region added that there is still work to be done industry-wide to ensure that NDC standards are completely business travel ready.

“We have spent the best part of the past two years focussing on our connectivity, travel content and NDC distribution capabilities especially in terms of servicing FCM clients effectively,” she said.

“We have also played a key role in leading conversations and collaboration with technology providers, airlines and IATA to ensure the benefits of NDC can be realised not only for our customers, but the industry as a whole.

“The industry ecosystem needs to continue to work together to ensure progress, especially in the corporate environment. As NDC discussion and adoption continues to gather pace around the globe, FCM and Flight Centre intend to remain at the heart of this industry transformation.”

Yanik Hoyles, IATA’s director of industry distribution programs, said: “We are pleased to welcome Flight Centre Travel Group as the first global travel management company to become NDC Level 4 certified, and hope they can serve as an example to other travel sellers in this new stage of volume growth.”

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