search.noResults

search.searching

dataCollection.invalidEmail
note.createNoteMessage

search.noResults

search.searching

orderForm.title

orderForm.productCode
orderForm.description
orderForm.quantity
orderForm.itemPrice
orderForm.price
orderForm.totalPrice
orderForm.deliveryDetails.billingAddress
orderForm.deliveryDetails.deliveryAddress
orderForm.noItems
NDC


DRIVING


The latest standard of NDC finally tackles ‘servicing’ – but are buyers revved up about version 19.2?


the latest version of the NDC


technical standard


19.2 4


has given Lufthansa, which demonstrates it can provide


the level of NDC certification IATA


the ‘service’ level necessary to meet the needs of the corporate market


SOURCE: IATA buyingbusinesstravel.com


ADOPTION M


WORDS ROB GILL


OST PEOPLE ASSOCIATE THE TERM “SERVICING” with a trip to the garage to fix their car – but it also describes the ability to cancel, change and refund air bookings, which, as buyers know,


is essential to manage involuntary situations, such as travel disruption. To date, most airline bookings made


through NDC-enabled channels have offered limited scope for servicing, with the majority of sales being made in the leisure travel market through OTAs, rather than TMCs. The trouble with corporate travel – unlike most leisure bookings – is that often last-minute changes have to be made. A traveller’s meeting may overrun or wrap up early so they may want to get a later or earlier flight home.


This means plenty of rebookings and on-the-day changes – something nascent NDC channels have struggled to cope with. Instead, TMC staff have been literally picking up the phone to airlines to make these changes manually, which paradoxically seems like a step in the wrong direction when automation is the name of the game. Even IATA, which has been leading the NDC project since 2012, admits the number of NDC corporate bookings has been a “trickle”, despite 2019 being promised as the year of “industrialisation” of NDC channels. One buyer for a global services company summed up the frustration neatly: “We’re supportive of NDC, but it has been very slow going and seems to be getting a bit slower. At the end of the day, we want anything that will give us better content and services for our travellers.” Having said that, most buyers would not know if their travellers have been booking


NDC-based fares or not – as many TMCs will not specifically tag them as NDC offers and presents them with one of several prices and ticketing options when booking flights. However, this “trickle” could be about to change as the latest version of the NDC technical standard (known as release 19.2 for those keeping count) may finally tackle this servicing shortfall, and clear the path for the type of mass adoption IATA is targeting by the end of 2020.


TOP OF THE AGENDA Yanik Hoyles, NDC programme director at IATA, explains to BBT that airlines are concentrating on getting the inner workings right when it comes to servicing for the corporate market. “It’s important to get the plumbing right and that plumbing is servicing. As soon as you get to the corporate traveller it’s got to have impeccable servicing,” he says. “It’s top of the agenda for everybody. “Servicing... is what we have been working on for the next upgrade of the standard, which will go live in September. This release tackles the challenge of servicing.” With this in mind, Hoyles is predicting that the number of NDC bookings will start to accelerate in the latter part of 2019 and then “start to take off” in 2020. The pressure is certainly on IATA and its


member airlines to get on with NDC – the association’s 21 “leaderboard” airlines, including British Airways, Lufthansa, American Airlines, United and Air France, have set a target of making at least 20 per cent of indirect bookings through an NDC API link by the end of 2020. These 21 airlines account for 30 per cent of IATA’s total passenger numbers. Paul Tilstone, managing partner at consultancy Festive Road, says: “Of course, 20 per cent doesn’t sound like much, but


2019 MAY/JUNE 77


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87  |  Page 88  |  Page 89  |  Page 90  |  Page 91  |  Page 92  |  Page 93  |  Page 94  |  Page 95  |  Page 96  |  Page 97  |  Page 98  |  Page 99  |  Page 100  |  Page 101  |  Page 102  |  Page 103  |  Page 104  |  Page 105  |  Page 106  |  Page 107  |  Page 108  |  Page 109  |  Page 110  |  Page 111  |  Page 112  |  Page 113  |  Page 114  |  Page 115  |  Page 116  |  Page 117  |  Page 118  |  Page 119  |  Page 120  |  Page 121  |  Page 122  |  Page 123  |  Page 124  |  Page 125  |  Page 126  |  Page 127  |  Page 128  |  Page 129  |  Page 130  |  Page 131  |  Page 132  |  Page 133  |  Page 134  |  Page 135  |  Page 136  |  Page 137  |  Page 138  |  Page 139  |  Page 140  |  Page 141  |  Page 142  |  Page 143  |  Page 144  |  Page 145  |  Page 146  |  Page 147  |  Page 148  |  Page 149  |  Page 150  |  Page 151  |  Page 152