CTM: 'We have been delivering live Qantas NDC content for almost a year now'

3 September, 2019

At the start of Aug-2019, Qantas Group formally launched the 'Qantas Channel', a commercial agreement between Qantas and an agency to access their New Distribution Capability (NDC) distribution platform. The Qantas Distribution Platform (QDP), which was launched in May-2018, is modernising the way agencies book fares and deliver personalised experiences to customers.

Agencies who have signed up to the exclusive channel will, over time, be able to offer customers new content, sourced from the NDC-enabled QDP, which is not currently available via traditional indirect booking systems.

As the only production pilot organisation for the QDP in Australia, The Blue Swan Daily reached out to Australian Travel Management Company, Corporate Travel Management (CTM) to find out what this new capability will mean for its customers.

When will customers be able to utilise the benefits of NDC?
"CTM has been in production with customers booking Qantas NDC content in our propriety OBT Lightning since November 2018. Being the first Travel Management Company and Corporate OBT to deliver live QF NDC content, we have so far demonstrated the ability to aggregate NDC and GDS content, distribute new unique NDC content and continue to provide a seamless booking experience through Lighting and high quality after booking servicing to our customers. CTM is always happy to provide a demo of our NDC capabilities to any Corporate Buyer interested."

What impact will NDC have on corporate programmes?
"NDC is an evolving technology standard and it takes expertise and close collaboration across the value chain to continue improving the standard and capabilities to provide a seamless customer experience. CTM is proud to be at the forefront of this new development. By connecting to the Qantas Distribution Platform directly, we are able to consume any new and exciting NDC content from outside of the GDS, however, the GDS also remains a key strategic content aggregator for us. NDC provides airlines greater flexibility in the delivery of their content meaning greater personalisation, choice and the potential for bespoke customisation of offers to suit a corporate travel program. It seems that some corporate buyers are uncertain about the impact of NDC, but at CTM we are dedicated to ensuring we guide our customers through the changes with minimal impact to ensure they can obtain the benefits of NDC whilst retaining the ability to effectively manage their travel programme."

What is the value customers can expect from NDC?
"The NDC standard enables enhanced distribution of data, including frequent flyer memberships, service inclusions, rich content, new content and so on. CTM technology has been built to consume and display all of this information to make traveller choices more transparent and the travel transaction more efficient. As a TMC, we see it as our responsibility to capture and easily display all this value for our customers and then allow for personalised configuration of travel policies that meet the preferences of each corporate buyer. Utilising our flexible technology Travel buyers will be able to leverage any advantages NDC may offer their programs whilst still being able to focus on core deliverables they determine, be it cost savings, traveller flexibility or supplier focus."

At the recent CAPA - Centre for Aviation Australia Pacific Aviation & Corporate Travel Summit in Sydney, Qantas Executive Manager Sales and Distribution, Igor Kwiatkowski joined a panel with the likes of Travelport, American Airlines and the Australian Federation of Travel Agents. It was clear there was still some uncertainty around the impact of the new QDP. To find out more and hear from Qantas, watch the full discussion below:

CTM is holding an event for Buyers at their Technology Hub in Sydney on Tuesday 10 September 3.30pm-5pm where they will be showcasing CTM's New Distribution Capability (NDC) live and in action. You will also hear their thoughts on the future of NDC in the Australian corporate market together with Qantas & IATA. if you are interested to attend this event please register your interest with CTM directly via [email protected]