Airlines see less turbulence in accelerating NDC adoption

The push by airlines for new distribution capability (NDC) has been around for so long, there was no chance a panel discussion at The Phocuswright Conference last month in Florida would solve all its issues.

After all, the topic has been “talked about, debated, discussed, misunderstood for, what now? Over 10 years,” said moderator Norm Rose, senior technology and corporate market analyst at Phocuswright.

Yet as three expert panelists swapped views and firsthand accounts on progress with airlines’ efforts to modernize distribution through direct connections with customers and travel agencies, it became clear just how pivotal 2024 could prove to be.

Panelist Neil Geurin, managing director of modern retailing at American Airlines, said he now sees possibilities for alignment between airlines, retailers and global distribution systems (GDS) “on how we go about selling these products and services in the future.”

“There are definitely ways we can all work together to benefit all of us — and the customer is happier at the end of that transaction,” he said.

Fellow panelists, Keith Wallis, managing director of customer digital and distribution at Air Canada, and Kathy Misunas, founder and principal at Essential Ideas and formerly CEO at Sabre, largely shared that view.

“The prior technology is no longer appropriate for today,” Misunas said.

Much of the attention this year has been on airlines’ efforts to encourage — some would say pressure — adoption of the technology by making some fares only available via NDC connections. American Airlines, for example, removed many discount fares from legacy GDSs while making things more difficult for travel advisors. United Airlines later stopped selling domestic and short-haul Latin America basic economy fares in traditional GDS channels.

“Let’s face it. There have been some adversarial relationships,” Rose said. “… We’re somewhat past that. I think everyone would agree: This is reality, so how do we move forward.”

Wallis has seen that shift. “All of the conversations have changed from not ‘Why do I need to do this?’ to ‘How can I do this faster?’ [and] ‘How can I get access to what you’re going to be offering?’ So I think we finally reached over that hill.”

Watch the full discussion in the video below.

Airlines in Pursuit: Accelerating NDC | American Airlines, Air Canada, Essential Ideas Phocuswright

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *