Travelport completed the first NDC booking through a GDS back in October 2018 and have recently completed the onboarding of more travel agencies, both large and small, who are receiving NDC content as pilot agents through Travelport Smartpoint. The company aims to ensure NDC works for everyone, so shared insights after its first few weeks offering NDC content and answered customers’ most frequently asked NDC questions.
As we’re at the start of a new year and have progressed from the initial implementation phase and into the ongoing delivery of NDC, here are the milestones we’re looking forward to reaching during 2019:
Providing travel choice through content
I said last year that in many ways, NDC is just a new version of what we’ve always done at Travelport: providing choice to our demand-side customers through relevant, bookable content from whichever distribution method a supplier chooses to connect to us.
We already have five airlines live and supplying NDC content into our platform. You can expect to see more airlines coming on board throughout 2019, including several more in the next few months.
Delivering optimal performance with the right technology
In some instances, NDC is an update to technology which has been in operation for three or four decades. My colleague from Travelport’s architecture team, Stu Waldron recently shared his view of the ‘plumbing’ going on behind the scenes to get ready for the NDC era. As Travelport sits right at the heart of the travel ecosystem, we believe we have a unique opportunity to get the right infrastructure in place now to serve the travel industry for the next three or four decades.
During 2018, we moved to the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) methodology for our product organization, to better serve our customers and put their needs front-and-center in the products we’re developing. As we have gradually moved through the implementation of NDC, we’ve taken customer comments on board and passed them directly back to our product team to be built into the next versions of our products.
A familiar experience, supporting agent workflow
We know that for travel agents, booking NDC content is a change to their established ways of working. By making NDC content available through Travelport Smartpoint, we’ve provided access to greater choice with NDC content which can be combined with ATPCo content in a familiar workflow.
We’ll be extending access to NDC content to Smartpoint connected agents throughout 2019 and our NDC API Trip Services will be available early in H2 2019.
Leading an intelligent conversation
Our commitment to leading a New Distribution Conversation hasn’t changed with the new year. You’ll see our leaders in conversation discussing NDC at major industry events throughout 2019, as we continue to deliver NDC for our customers and more webinars for our customers and the wider travel industry. We’ll also be inviting customers to some of our regional hubs to discuss their approach to NDC and I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible then.
It’s going to be a busy year for all of us at Travelport as we continue to build the technology to make the process of buying and managing travel continually better for everyone. The work going on in 2019, from connecting NDC-ready airlines to delivering our point of sale solutions, is essential to successfully deliver IATA’s 2020 goals.