Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Delta to rollout NDC strategy in 2025

Delta Airlines is in the process of building its NDC solution with various partners and intends to announce “milestone releases” by late 2024 for, according to Delta managing director of sales technology and global sales support Sara Reid, who spoke to Business Travel News (BTN Europe).

“As we move into 2025, the first half of the year, we will do some integrations with the ecosystem and start to work on unlocking or opening value with some of the new products we are looking to put into the marketplace.”

During the second half of 2025, Delta plans to enable omni-channel servicing at scale, and from 2025 and beyond, to enhance and continuously improve innovations for the industry, she shared.

Reid reiterated that Delta did not currently have plans to follow in the footsteps of other carriers and remove fares from EDIFACT channels or to impose surcharges.

“We absolutely have no plans to prematurely remove content or impose surcharges as adoption tactics,” Reid said. “We think if this journey is done right, and we plan to do this right, that we’ll drive adoption by creating value for customers, not by these forceful tactics.”

Solution design partners

Partners Delta is working with include Accelya, Airlines Reporting Corp., the International Air Transport Association and Google. Reid did not go into detail about what each partnership would entail, other than to say that Delta is building toward the IATA 21.3 schema, but that will not allow that schema from adding more value for our customers, she added

Accelya confirmed that Delta would use its FLX platform’s modular approach and APIs to deliver the carrier’s NDC content and scale integrations, which will allow the airlines to reach a vast range of sales channels as well as deliver its next generation product strategy.

“We are not simply taking out-of-the-box solutions implemented with other carriers. We are challenging the status quo to say we want to make sure that all that information we collected during the discovery phase, that we are going to be able to implement,” Reid said.

Delta’s goal is to design a solution that will mimic the experience of its website, which Reid added would be ideal.

Reid also noted that the global distribution systems have been part of the carrier’s discovery phase and anticipates that those integrations will happen in the first half of 2025. The carrier said it has also been in talks with TMCs such as American Express Global Business Travel and Amtrav and is working with online booking tools, including SAP Concur, as it prepares to launch its NDC solution.

Selling and servicing ‘transformation’

Delta is calling its NDC development a “selling and servicing transformation.” Its focus is to create “better products, better merchandising, better servicing, and we will do that by being collaborative with our customers and industry partners,” said Delta’s SVP of global sales Bob Somers at an industry conference held in Washington last week.

Reid added: “We have pushed EDFIACT to the limit. We need this new technology to create better products, and we are creating those products with corporate customers in mind.”

“The carrier’s corporate advisory board has been working with us for two years on this journey, and they are very comfortable with the timeline,” Somers added.

Delta also intends to be “very transparent” with customers and partners regarding its NDC capabilities. “We plan to create a website that will allow people to know where we are on our journey and the capabilities that are available, and we will keep that up to date,” Reid said.

Somers added that one of the biggest differences between what Delta will offer compared with other carriers is the “prioritisation of corporate and business travel. That will be at the forefront,” he said, suggesting that other carriers have lowered the prominence of that segment in their sales strategy.

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