We’re creating a more connected travel industry, underpinned by sustainability and long-term investor relations.
Group Communications Director, Amadeus IT Group
The theme of the event was "From Service to Value - A Customer Driven Transformation" and the New Distribution Capability dominated the plenary sessions in the morning as well as having one stream devoted to it for the afternoon (and a full morning to follow today).
Tony Tyler, IATA's Director-General and CEO, described the aviation industry as "the mass transit system for the global economy...part of the infrastructure of modern life like electricity or water companies".
In the face of challenging profitability in the airline sector he said the challenge for the industry was to find a way out of the commoditisation of the industry, by offering consumers "control and choice" by empowering them to personalise their experience.
Later in the afternoon a number of panels examined progress and attitudes to NDC, which continues to be a highly contentious issue in the industry. Following up on its blog post of October 23rd, IATA continued to stress an inclusive approach to NDC. Yanik Hoyles, Head of the NDC Program, also reiterated that the program was both channel agnostic and business model agnostic, directly addressing two of the major concerns of the broader industry.
An afternoon panel session introduced the views of a number of technology providers including Amadeus, which was represented by Decius Valmorbida, Vice President of Distribution Marketing.
Valmorbida, and industry peers such as Sabre and Navitaire, agreed that involving travel agents and understanding requirements would be key to driving adoption.