We’re creating a more connected travel industry, underpinned by sustainability and long-term investor relations.
Collaboration across the industry is the sine qua non for NDC to really take off. NDC is a concept for Intermediated Airline Distribution by design – that means it focuses on those supply chain participants that are in-between the travel provider and the traveler herself. The success of NDC will eventually be measured by the level of sustainable adoption not merely by airlines but by all downstream players in the supply chain for travel. Also, NDC is just one, yet critical, enabler in the larger vision of enhanced travel retailing. It’s a vision to use sophisticated methods of conversational commerce between travel providers and the individual traveler – yet with a focus on the partners that create value in between.
Amadeus NDC [X] was set-up with that focus on supply chain collaboration and we’re really excited to see it paying off and delivering results. Collaboration with some of the largest and most innovative players across the industry has translated into live NDC bookings flowing through our systems at Amadeus, both as IT provider and aggregator, and the beginning of the transformation of how travel sellers shop and buy journeys and interact with the end consumer.
With this holistic vision, supported by flexibility and endurance as fundamental drivers, today we’re in the industrialization phase of NDC for both prime and post booking flows and will continue this into 2020. We’ve built NDC-enabled solutions together with leading travel players as members of our NDC [X] program and will keep working relentlessly in 2020 to get more bookings in production and deploy NDC at scale globally. NDC is at an exciting stage: there is higher awareness and more engagement from the airline and travel seller communities who increasingly collaborate around us with an Industry mindset and identity, looking beyond their own interests. We’re also seeing ever more serious investments and commitment to adopting the standard.
As we continue towards the industrialization of NDC, in 2020 we are looking for growth. 2019 has been a year of hard work to realize the underpinnings for this growth target: As a result, Amadeus today is the only provider that can holistically deliver end-to-end NDC integration with the performance, scalability, market reach and global support in line with airlines’ strategic objectives.
We currently hold dual Level 4 NDC certifications from IATA as IT provider and aggregator with Amadeus Altéa and the Amadeus Travel Platform respectively. We are also certified as One Order Capable as an IT and Order Management System Provider. Navitaire has reached Level 3 certification for NDC as IT provider.
We made great strides over the past 12 months to get airlines’ NDC content in our systems and distribute it through our two travel agency interfaces backed by the Amadeus Travel Platform. Furthermore, we have started to also feed our cytric Travel & Expense online booking tool with the new aggregated content flow including NDC – to build a first prototype. Our NDC [X] partners and early adopters have been crucial to ensuring maximum ‘adoptability’ of NDC across the industry worldwide.
Whilst we’re delivering in the short term, we’re also investing to provide future-proof and scalable solutions for the long-term. Part of this is to ensure further integration of NDC content and new versions.
Having said that, IATA’s leaderboard goal for 2020 is around the corner. It’s great to have a goal, and the industry is working towards it. NDC is a journey and one that is part of a much broader retail and digital transformation. Its massive deployment is still a few years away. But we are committed to ensuring its reality and that it serves the needs of all stakeholders across the travel supply chain.
In 2020, we’ll focus our efforts on four key areas.
Amadeus is also pleased to offer airline customers that select Amadeus’ Altéa NDC solution the option to distribute their NDC content to travel sellers via the Amadeus Travel Platform. This can be done via a feature called Amadeus NDC Connect, which gives airlines greater reach to travel sellers around the world – at the flick of a switch. It helps airlines deliver more NDC content, faster, by benefitting from a fully integrated setup.
We need to remember NDC is not the end-game. It’s part of a broader vision together with other initiatives such as One Order.
IATA has officially certified Amadeus’ Order Management System as “One Order Capable”. This certification reinforces our commitment to airlines’ retail transformation. For example, we are conducting two pilots using NDC and One Order in a production environment. This will enable interline and interoperability between a Full Service and a Low-Cost carrier hosted in Amadeus Altéa and Navitaire New Skies PSS’s.
We’re committed to making the One Order initiative evolve with more pilots and working hand-in-hand with IATA and our customers to drive this change.
In 2019, NDC was one of the hottest topics in the travel industry and a part of the broader digitization trend happening across the sector. There is no doubt it will continue to be top of mind in 2020 as part of the larger vision of travel supply chain transformation. The industry has done well so far and is on the right track. But it is not yet time to decelerate. In fact, we should double down on our collective efforts. With this renewed energy and impetus, we’re confident the industry will be able to realize the travel retailing vision behind NDC!
For more information about NDC and our NDC [X] program, have a look at our dedicated webpage.