The initiative of IATA’s ONE Order is to modernize the back-office, order management process for the airline industry. The ONE Order standard creates a single integrated customer record to streamline fulfillment, delivery, and accounting processes across the lifecycle of the Order.
According to Yanik Hoyles, Director Distribution at IATA, the purpose of ONE Order was simplification. “Because at the end of the day, customer centricity remains central to everything.”
“As long we have the Edifact technology that dates back 50 years, it is not possible to be truly customer centric. Today when you book a flight ticket, there is a PNR – which is your booking; your E-ticket which is the proof of payment and the EMD, which is the proof of payment of any ancillary. So already, you have three documents. Now if a customer wants to modify his /her flight, there lies ahead a long, complex and cumbersome process. That is part of the challenge and therein lies the opportunity.”
“What ONE Order does is solve this complexity – by providing one single order that has all the details you need from booking to status, to payment details etc, just like any other retailer out there today. ONE Order also enables you to track consumption. This is particularly beneficial for corporate buyers who have better control,” added Hoyles.
Implementing ONE Order requires investments backed by IATA’s New Distribution Capability (NDC). But without an effective order management system in place, the full potential of NDC cannot be fulfilled. ONE Order ensures that the airlines actually deliver what has been sold to the passenger while allowing them to take quicker and more efficient commercial decisions.
It also has the potential to deliver an end-to-end experience for the traveler, combining offers from airlines, airports, rail, and so much more.
“Today we are seeing NDC really charging ahead, and that has paved the way for ONE Order and further opens the way up for a new cycle, which is Order Management or the full adoption of ONE Order. It was a very natural sequence of processes that has enabled us to get close to the customer,” said Hoyles.
The journey from NDC with Dynamic Offers and ONE Order has really accelerated in the last 12 months. Despite the pandemic, not only do all major airlines have NDC on their radar but they are now looking beyond.
Since the NDC Leaderboard Airlines achieved their goal of 20 per cent of indirect sales powered by an NDC API in December 2020, NDC volumes have increased to 28 per cent in September 2021.
There are currently 183 companies that are certified (NDC & ONE Order) which includes 67 airlines, and the rest, mostly technology providers. This represents an increase of 26 per cent since the start of the COVID-19 crisis. These 67 airlines weigh over 60 per cent of IATA total passenger volumes (based on 2019 passenger boarded data)a clear indicator on how airlines and IT providers have maintained airline retailing as a strategic priority..
Some airlines have multiple certifications, so if we count the total number of certifications, the total for NDC and ONE order is 234 (of which 74 are airlines), which represent an increase of 25 per cent since the start of the COVID-19 crisis.
These airlines are looking for creative ways to deliver new and exciting products through their NDC channels. For e.g. Qantas now offers customers the ability to purchase carbon offsets when booking flights through their NDC-enabled platforms while British Airways are using the additional price points they get on NDC to offer cost savings for their corporate programs.
Of course, the biggest news to champion NDC adoption was Finnair’s announcement that it will stop using legacy Edifact technology to sell tickets and ancillary air products by the end of 2025 by moving to an all-NDC distribution model.
“When it comes to ONE Order, the best use case that is starting to happen is interlining, where one airline can sell services provided by another airline (such as itineraries) that they would otherwise not be able to serve alone. ONE Order will enable them with all the data they require to provide seamless customer service,” added Hoyles.
IATA’s recently concluded Digital, Data and Retailing Symposium in Madrid saw industry leaders call out for more inclusiveness and industry-wide collaborations in the NDC journey while moving towards end-vision of Offers and Orders – which is a truly retailing vision.
“The move to ONE Order enables airlines to service their customers better. After creating better offers, bundles, targeted bundles, tailored fare bundles and rich content through their NDC channels, to have to issue an e-ticket at the end of it means, they are missing out on an opportunity to service that customer to the full potential. ONE Order brings that added value to the NDC content.”
“It is fantastic to see how enthusiastic the industry is about the NDC and ONE Order,” he said.
But the journey does not stop there. As the adoption of NDC progresses, so will ONE Order. As the technology advances, it has become time to add more value to this personalized travel retailing.
As a next step, IATA has already announced the a certification called the Airline Retailing Maturity Index (ARM Index) that will help airlines and their partners have better visibility with airline retailing.
This is a remodelling of NDC and One Order certification, but is also broadening of airline retailing using Offers and Orders of the IATA programs of NDC, One Order, Settlement with Orders, Dynamic Offer Creation and Future of Interline – all in one certification.
According to IATA, the new certification will be based on three pillars: Capabilities verification (airlines, sellers and system providers) to know what technical standards (NDC, One Order Settlement with Orders) are enabled for capabilities like shopping for flights etc; Partnerships deployment (airlines, sellers) where partners must confirm capabilities that are Live with partners, their volumes, network reach etc and their scalability across the value chain and lastly, Value capture (airlines) that enables airlines to capture value by shifting to airline retailing and be better equipped to move forward with an advanced airline retailing strategy.
“Digitization is critical to the future and the challenges of the last two years saw many airlines realize the the full value of the digital enhancements that they had to make to be able to operate and fly again.
“This period definitely saw airlines embrace technology faster than they would’ve and now, there is no looking back,” added Hoyles.