NDCMarketplace.com is one of the first B2B subscription-based global marketplace launched to support IATA’s New Distribution Capability (NDC) standard by providing sellers a platform where they will be able to consume the NDC content seamlessly.
Since its launch, NDCMarketplace.com has aggregated over 47 airlines via Direct API. NDCMarketplace.com connects dozens of NDC-certified airlines, Global Distribution Systems (GDSs) and Low-Cost Carriers (LCCs) regardless of schema, standard and version. It allows subscribers access to NDC airline content alongside GDS and LCC content on one screen allowing quick, efficient and personalized travel bookings.
Arabiatravelnews.com spoke to George Rajan, Vice President – Sales at NDCMarketplace.com who says the distribution portal is all set to be a game changer in the travel industry.
“In the current travel environment, agents have to access several portals – multiple LCC, GDS and various NDC Airline Agent platform, before completing a booking. This meant a longer, tedious, and time consuming process for the travel agent to complete travel booking for a customer.
With more and more airlines adapting to NDC, multiple NDC portals by individual airlines or API’s with various schemas are being rolled out and once again the travel agents are challenged with how to conduct their business.”
Currently there are 66 airlines who are NDC certified with IATA with more working on adding their NDC schemas.
“NDCMarketplace.com also provides a Combined API on Schema 18.2 where Online Travel Agency, Travel Management Companies, Travel Sellers with a B2B portal will be able to consume One API from NDCMarketplace.com to receive content from multiple sources. It expedites the adoption of NDC content by the Travel Agencies’’ said Rajan.
Travel agents can subscribe to NDCMarketplace.com via a monthly subscription that allows them to choose from packages that best suit their requirements. The portal enables clients to set various parameters, including credit limits for sub agencies, generate ticketing and transaction reports; issue cancellations and refunds; and select from a broad range of ancillary services.
“Being a subscription model means the travel agency does not have to worry about huge technological investments either. Our model saves them the hassle of understanding which technology will fit their requirements.”
With NDCMarketplace, the travel agent stays in control of how they choose to make their booking. “If there is an airline whose content is not available on GDS, the agency will have the option to connect via the NDC channel on our platform.” he added.
Not to be left behind, the GDS aggregators have also been scaling up their NDC content. While Emirates may have chosen to discontinue its long standing relationship with Sabre, several other legacy airlines continue to develop their NDC schemas as well as work with aggregators. However, the GDS’ reliance on EDIFACT (Electronic Data Interchange For Administration, Commerce and Transport) could be a constraining factor to the airlines’ personalization requirements than effective.
Rajan is also quick to add that “We want to create a solution where the travel agent benefits from having their own GDS, LCC and NDC-airline connectivity, as it enables us to provide a single, efficient solution with all three content available.”
For airlines who have spent billions enhancing their products – for improved seats, wi-fi, personalized meals; being able to distribute these revenue generating ancillaries have always been a challenge. This was largely driven by the fact that agents do not have immediate access to them on an EDIFACT environment and it required them to visit the airline dot coms to book these add-ons.
Since its launch, Rajan says that the NDCmarketplace.com has been very well received by the travel trade because the platform addresses some on the key issue travel agents have faced over the years, be it with the single-screen access or with the rich content coming their way.
“Besides that, agents can continue to use their own supplier credentials, be it directly with the airline, the GDS or the LCC carrier – and still earn their commissions, segment incentive and other benefits through the suppliers,” he added.
Looking ahead, NDCMarketplace will continue to evolve to meet the needs of its customers. “We will soon bring an enhanced distribution model that will enhance the value addition for our airline partners. This means any airline that is NDC capable will be able to connect on NDC marketplace and directly reach out to the travel agency communities that have subscribed with us and distribute their content through the platform,” Rajan added.
“We want to be that one-stop platform that will allow direct connectivity with as many airlines as possible so that a travel agent does not have to look for multiple options but instead choose to use a single-solution, which is NDCMarketplace.com.”
“We also ensure an end-to-end servicing capability on the platform which will include after sales services likes reissue, refunds and offer more ancillaries options on the platform,” he further added.
While 2020 has been a difficult year for the aviation industry, it did not stop or slow down the evolution of NDC-enabled airline content and this is a testament to the role it plays in modern travel retail. Airlines have used the lull period to accelerate their NDC adoption and boost their retailing capabilities.
“The air travel environment is changing. Airlines are adapting to provide travelers a retailing experience, like any other e-commerce site. This requires airlines to truly understand how their customer buys and travels; reach out to them with personalized offers that will eventually bring them back. Together with ONE Order Capability, which is here to replace the traditional booking, ticketing and processing, using a single customer ID, airlines are poised to take back control and become the retailer of the future.” concluded Rajan.