NDC news from around the world

29 October, 2019

IATA's New Capability Distribution (NDC) continues to be a hot topic of discussion around the world as more and more airlines and suppliers deliver enhanced content for travellers and agents. Let's take a closer look at this important innovation.

American Express Global Business Travel reveals next-gen airline retailing advancements

American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) announces that with the latest release of its proprietary online booking tool, Neo™, it is the first travel management company (TMC) to connect to the global distribution systems (GDSs) for online NDC content*. Neo connects to Amadeus NDC-X and Sabre's Beyond NDC through GBT's Supply Management Platform (SMP). Work to integrate with Travelport is ongoing. With this release, GBT has also introduced Routehappy product and amenity information into the Neo point of sale. Users can now see more information about what is included in an air fare. The initial phase includes product information about specific aircraft, such as Wi-Fi availability, food choices and seat pitches. The next phase will include ticket components, such as lounge access and baggage allowance. By partnering with airlines, GDSs and Routehappy, GBT remains focused on collaborating to deliver robust, scalable solutions to customers. The shared objective is always to provide all airline content in a way that encourages innovation, comparison shopping and customer value. Travel managers and travellers expect TMCs to provide a comprehensive set of airline options in one shopping experience, and to avoid having to seek non-GDS fares through costly third parties or direct airline booking channels. In August, GBT issued the first live American Airlines' NDC-enabled bookings using the Amadeus Travel API and it is encouraging to know that other TMCs are now following the same path. GBT has also made test bookings with Sabre and Travelport. As Neo leads the way in delivering scalable solutions, GBT also looks forward to updates from key online booking tool (OBT) partners. Some OBTs are still in pilot mode, but we expect many to scale-up with GBT and GDSs throughout 2020. GBT works with all major OBTs to advance airline retailing, maintain comprehensive and relevant content, and evolve the user experience. To this end, GBT has offered to integrate its SMP to OBT partners to deliver NDC solutions, Routehappy, and other new content related offerings to customers.

ATPCO and Amadeus sign retailing agreement to integrate and distribute Routehappy Rich Content

ATPCO and Amadeus announced (23-Oct-2019) a long term retailing agreement, which will enable Amadeus to integrate ATPCO's airline rich content within its flight shopping applications and interfaces. The distribution scope includes travel seller and traveller applications powered by Amadeus, as well as its flight shopping APIs. The agreement also includes rights to integrate rich content into NDC offers that help to further differentiate airlines through effective and compelling content. As part of the retailing agreement, Amadeus will also support ATPCO's Next Generation Storefront standard. The partnership will exponentially scale the adoption of Routehappy Rich Content for flight shopping. Under the new agreement, ATPCO is now an authorised provider of airline rich content to Amadeus, and Amadeus is now an authorised distributor of Routehappy Rich Content. In addition to API access, ATPCO will also provide flat file access to Routehappy Rich Content to Amadeus for the first time. This accelerates the rate at which airline rich content can be deeply integrated into multiple points within its applications - such as Amadeus Selling Platform Connect, and Amadeus for Developers API - to power richer flight shopping experiences for travel sellers and buyers. [more - original PR]

CWT launches first successful live NDC booking through Amadeus Selling Platform Connect

CWT launched (22-Oct-2019) its first successful live NDC booking through Amadeus Selling Platform Connect. The ticket was issued on American Airlines and was completed within a production environment. CWT VP of air distribution capabilities Erik Magnuson stated: "While this is a hugely positive step forward to making efficient NDC consumption a reality for the business traveller, it is still early days", adding the industry needs to collaborate in order to "solve for the complexities of corporate travel at scale". CWT continues its NDC pilot programmes and expects to mark further developments towards the end of 2019. [more - original PR]

Amadeus getting Selling Platform Connect solution ready to serve NDC with confidence

Amadeus director industry & expertise, travel channels, Hervé Prezet reported (16-Oct-2019) the company is getting its Amadeus Selling Platform Connect solution 'NDC-ready'. For travel sellers, this means they will be able to shop, order and pay for flights and related services and service bookings using the NDC standard. [more - original PR]

Serko and Qantas launch Zeno NDC booking capability through QDP

Serko launched (17-Oct-2019) its NDC booking capability through the Qantas Distribution Platform (QDP). After a pilot with CT Connections, Serko's Travel Management Company partners can access Qantas airfares in Zeno through either their existing Global Distribution System (GDS) connections or through the direct QDP connection. The launch of Zeno allows the expansion of content and ancillary offerings through NDC, allowing new revenue stream opportunities. [more - original PR]