NDC (new distribution capability) findings by Travelport during the Covid-19 pandemic show it provided a ‚Äúrobust servicing solution‚ÄĚ for core requirements like airline refunds, exchanges, scheduling, ancillaries and the management of multi-sector leisure bookings.
Will Owen Hughes, head of customer strategy and marketing – air, Travelport, observed that even though some airlines ‚Äúpaused‚ÄĚ their NDC programmes at the height of the virus outbreak, most continued to be invested.
Nadine Dawood Morgan, Qantas head of distribution, who participated with Hughes in a CAPA Live webinar on how NDC is influencing recovery in the travel Industry, commented its partners were moving at a different pace during the pandemic and that outcomes were ‚Äúinconsistent‚ÄĚ.
Morgan said leisure travel was on a faster recovery track and was confident corporate travel would come back.
Qantas, she continued, had already gained a lot of momentum with NDC and did not change its roadmap; was taking a long-term strategy of ‚Äúmaking a better (shopping and booking) experience for customers and to support the agents who service them”.
It is rolling out new content for frequent flyers and is launching discounts for Frequent Flyer Program members in ‚Äúthe indirect space, which was not available before‚ÄĚ, and creating ‚Äúa great opportunity for the trade‚ÄĚ to access better and richer information.
Hughes added NDC did not only allow airlines to provide ‚Äúcertain fares‚ÄĚ but allowed them to ‚Äúpersonalise products‚ÄĚ.
Morgan noted: ‚ÄúSome of the features and capabilities that we are building are not about the price at all, but value-add for the customer,‚ÄĚ citing the ability to buy carbon offsets ‚Äď which is important for their customers ‚Äď and which was not available on the direct channel before.
NDC, she opined, was really important in helping Qantas in areas such as fare availability and scheduling, to ‚Äúpump information‚ÄĚ to agents and in plugging service gaps, which was a complex process and crucial to have a certain level of detail.
On the NDC focus for Qantas this year, Morgan said it was to ensure a robust service roadmap, to continue to value add ‚Äúancillaries which are very important to clients‚ÄĚ, and to ‚Äúrelease things quickly‚ÄĚ.