Thursday, December 1, 2022

IATA launches ARM index ‘Value’ certification, set to replace NDC Certification

As IATA continues to push its Airline retailing vision, it introduced the new Airline Retailing Maturity index or ARM index, a multi-layered program that will replace the existing NDC certification, while its OneOrder registry will also be absorbed into the new ARM index registry.

The NDC certification process was a five-point certification process that offered levels 1 to 4 certification and the top level of NDC @Scale certification. The new ARM Index will do away with the certification levels and will use simple technical terms like “shop for flights” or “shop for ancillaries” to describe the company’s capabilities.

“This is not a new development, just a new lens on the development,” explained Kitty Little, IATA’s distribution, certification and compliance manager.

A new series of benchmarks have been put in place to measure the IATA-verified capabilities. These are divided into three main pillars – the Capabilities verification- a registry to measure progress in adoption of standards; the Partnerships Deployment that will track the airlines’ network reach and customer access to offers and orders and lastly, the Value Capture Compass, that measures how effective new content has been and help sellers and corporates push airlines for more value content.

Both the Partnership Deployment and Value Capture Compass registries will remain private.

Speaking at a press briefing, IATA distribution director Yanik Hoyles said, “The value creation compass, which is a first-f-its-kind by IATA, will help airlines better understand where the value can come from, because if all the airline is doing is putting in new pipes to drive the same volumes, then there’s no point.” 

Through Value Capture, which is available only to airlines, conversations on how to create value together can be initiated. Airlines will also be able to benchmark their progress in value creation and enhance their flight or ancillary offers.

Value creation will remain key with ARM Index. According to Hoyles, over the last year, there has been considerable success with selling ancillaries, continuous pricing and, to some extent, bundled offers.  

“However, the ability to sell more personalized offers still have scope to grow. To do proper personalization you’ve got to have all your customer relationship management processes in place.”

Currently, 15 airlines and 10 tech providers are listed on the new registry, including Amadeus, United, American Airlines, British Airways, Qantas and more. Hoyles added that migrations will continue over the next year before IATA shuts down its NDC registry at the end of October.

The old NDC certification program set up a NDC Leaderboard that achieved their goal of 20 per cent of indirect sales powered by an NDC API in December 2020 and since then saw volumes increase to 28 per cent in September 2021. While there is no similar targets currently set  for ARM index, Hoyles added that they will be announced soon.

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