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It was a thrilling experience to pitch our business travel app to an audience of airline executives and many travel industry professionals at IATA’s NDC Hackathon in Dubai last weekend. The hackathon challenged our team to come up with an app using an IATA NDC API that addresses a business travel challenge.
Our team was one of 24 that spent 28 hours coding non-stop to develop our idea into an actual app. We came up with a corporate travel booking assistant that we affectionately named ‘Callie’.
Callie is a mobile application that uses the ThomasCook NDC API for shopping and booking. Callie can automatically propose business trips based upon a number of criteria, including meetings on your calendar, traveller preferences, and corporate policy. One of Callie’s really cool talents is the ability to intelligently recommend extra business trips based on your customer portfolio or LinkedIn business connections, as well as leisure ideas based on your personal interests and Facebook connections.
Callie received very positive feedback, and we couldn’t believe it when we were announced the winners of the Hackathon! This fantastic achievement was made possible by the Amadeus team, which included Olivier Amadieu (development coordinator), and our talented developers Thibaud Rohmer (integration and backend development), Benjamin Rey (integration and backend development), Yannick Adam (front end - UI), and Allister-Levi Sanchez (front end - UI). My role was Project Lead of a team comprised of four nationalities that met for the very first time at the airport on the way to Dubai. This diversity, coupled with the fact that I was one of four women out of 109 people to participate in the hackathon, really played a big part in bringing a truly innovative app to life.
I am very proud of the team for winning the Business Travel category as well as the SITA special prize for using its API for weather and QR codes. We will be donating the prize money to the Amadeus Corporate Social Responsibility program that supports scholarships for outstanding, disadvantaged students in information and communications technology and travel and tourism studies.
The next surprise came when IATA invited us to participate in the World Passenger Symposium in Dubai by pitching our idea to the airline and travel industry.
Callie will now move on to an incubation phase with IATA – so stay tuned for updates!