FCM Travel Solutions’ drive to lead integration of a long-term digital NDC booking solution globally in the corporate sector has moved up a gear with technology partners Amadeus and Sabre.
Setting a new milestone, FCM and parent company Flight Centre’s travel consultants have started testing Amadeus’ NDC-X, the new graphical NDC-enabled user interface within Amadeus Selling Platform Connect. The design incorporates FCM’s feedback and creates an intuitive user experience that caters to the diverse booking needs across different markets.
FCM expects the first live booking of NDC airline content via the enhanced Amadeus solution to be made within the next three months.
The travel management company has also engaged in high level cross-industry workshops with Sabre since becoming a launch partner in the technology provider’s Beyond NDC initiative. These workshops addressed NDC servicing gaps such as refunds and booking changes, net fares in an NDC environment and issues around number of passengers in a PNR.
FCM has worked closely with Sabre to provide valuable insights into the development of a solution that provides a scalable platform to deliver NDC content to customers, and discussions are now underway with Sabre to commence testing the technology provider’s NDC API.
In Asia, FCM organised an event in May for travel bookers and procurement managers as a platform for knowledge sharing of current topics on business travel.
A key highlight was the session entitled, NDC: The here and now, where it gave delegates an overview of airline distribution, what NDC is and the rationale behind IATA’s decision to create an NDC standard. This was followed by a panel discussion comprising of representatives from FCM, Amadeus and Singapore Airlines.
Marcus Eklund, global managing director, FCM Travel Solutions, said: “We have really moved things into a higher gear in terms of driving our NDC roadmap forward over the last couple of months, particularly since we established a dedicated global distribution team to spearhead industry collaboration between technology and GDS providers, TMCs and airlines in developing solutions to book and service NDC content.
“NDC will increasingly become a reality in 2019, but our goal has always been to balance the short-term priorities of NDC with building a long-term, workable solution with our technology partners at Amadeus and Sabre.”
Eklund likened the eventual complete adoption of NDC as “the perfect smart home where everything works and you have Alexa in every room”.
“However, the airlines are pushing us to move into a half-built house. There is still a lot of work to be done. That’s why we are piloting solutions with our technology partners to make sure that when we do move into that house, we can give our customers an even better business travel experience. The last thing we want to create for ourselves and our customers is more inefficiencies when booking flights and managing data,” explained Eklund.