New Distribution Capability (NDC) is coming, and it represents a significant change for the distribution of airline content in the corporate travel industry. At its core it is simply a set of standards by IATA, which is aimed at building a clear pathway to standardised airline fare provision. These standards cover such topics as payment method, order creation and handling, and paves the way for a more personalised and bespoke customer retailing experience.
This new capability requires significant adjustments from every area of the industry with airlines planning new fares and ancillaries, aggregation intermediaries preparing the groundwork for ancillary bundles to flow correctly from airline systems to agents, and agents working to present these new fares to customers at the point of sale through various shopping channels.
It is a challenge requiring significant investment, planning and collaboration.
American Express GBT is ready to meet that challenge.
As airlines look to introduce new corporate offers and bundles, and provide access to content through New Distribution Capability (NDC) compliant connections, Amex GBT has created a content aggregation framework that will ensure our customers continue to benefit from the content choice and servicing quality they need. Through our 5 distribution principles, GBT has created an engagement strategy to meet the evolving landscape of distribution in corporate travel.
This strategy is underpinned by five key pillars, which we adhere to whenever we investigate new sources of content for any product or technology to distribute content to our customers:
- Access to Content: Ensuring that our customers have access to the widest possible array of content and transparent faring. This includes both GDS and non-GDS sources, and it means collaborating with suppliers on the future of content and distribution, of which NDC is a part.
- Aggregating for Consistency: Aggregating content globally so that it can be integrated into all point-of-sale tools, whether digital self-service or agent tools and whether proprietary tools or those of 3rd parties. This strategy includes leveraging proprietary technology such as GBT’s Supplier Management Platform (SMP) and HRG’s Content Hub and One View technology platforms.
- Cost Efficiency: Maintaining a low cost to service for our customers and avoiding surcharges through proprietary technology and commercial relationships, including leveraging all GDS technology available today and working with GDS and the wider industry on implementation of NDC.
- Servicing Quality: Delivering seamless servicing to travelers through both digital and agent-enabled tools, no matter where the industry evolves and what happens whilst travelers are on the road.
- Client Value: Driving better user experience and ultimately value to corporate clients
Through a number of collaborative relationships with our airline and supply chain partners American Express GBT is at the forefront of new distribution technology, and as we reach the first destination on that road (NDC connectivity online through Neo) we invite you to assist with our ongoing efforts to ensure that the introduction of this new technology standard delivers value to you as our customers.
According to a white paper that American Express GBT produced a while ago with ACTE called “The Evolution of Air Distribution: How Will It Impact Your Travel Programme?”, there still is a lot of uncertainty and perplexity over NDC. To learn more about your peers’ sentiments toward NDC and how they are coping with the shifting air distribution paradigm — as well as five ways TMs can prepare for the changes ahead — read and download the full report here.
It is an exciting time in distribution in corporate travel, and we are pleased to keep you updated as we continue our journey along our content strategy roadmap.
Head of Client Management, Finland
American Express Global Business Travel