NDC is ready to usher in the age of Amazon for travel, claims Amadeus report

NDC is ready to usher in the age of Amazon for travel, claims Amadeus report

The data standard ‘is proving to be a foundation for digital retailing across the sector’

The age of Amazon, Netflix and Spotify for travel is being ushered in by acceleration in the adoption of Iata’s New Distribution Capability, according to a new report from Amadeus.

The GDS and travel tech giant says NDC, the XML-based data transmission standard developed for airlines, “is proving to be a foundation for digital retailing across the sector”.

The ‘NDC 2021 and the path to industrialisation’ declares that this is the year that NDC achieves scale having been in development for a decade.

the report includes contributions from Allianz, American Airlines, British Airways, CWT, Deloitte, Flight Centre, House of Travel, IATA, Qantas, Travix, and Volkswagen.

Amadeus says NDC has the capability for travel firms to meet the same expectations as consumers have today of leading digital brands like Amazon, Netflix and Spotify.

This will see brands offer a “seamless, relevant and personalised experience”, the firm said,  “to build a more responsive and agile industry capable of meeting the ever-changing needs of travellers”.

Ángel Gallego, Amadeus executive vice president, travel distribution, said: “If we compare where we were 18 months ago to today, it’s clear that despite the strain caused by COVID-19, the industry has not sacrificed its commitment to NDC.

“On the airline side, we are now seeing new differentiated product bundles and price points.

“On the travel seller side, every Amadeus connected travel seller will be able to book NDC content, alongside content sourced in other ways, by the end of this year.

“On the technology side, we have continued to deliver on our promise to offer scalable, innovative solutions that incorporate vital features such as post-booking servicing.

“It is encouraging to see that the industry increasingly views NDC as a key pillar of recovery.

“With modern digital retailing, travel will be based around dynamic offers and this will deliver a competitive edge to airlines and travel sellers that embrace this change.

“Now is the time to engage with NDC to power great journeys for travellers and rebuild travel.”

As part of the roll out of NDC Airlines have begun to make tailored offers available, as well as to experiment with innovations like ‘continuous pricing’ and new types of bundled offers.

Amadeus said over 2,500 travel agencies across 50 markets are now able to book and service airline content via NDC using its solutions.

These solutions include Amadeus Selling Platform Connect, Amadeus Travel API, and Amadeus cytric Travel & Expense.

Travel sellers are able to access a full range of NDC, traditional EDIFACT, and Low Cost Carrier content via APIs in the Amadeus Travel Platform.

The Amadeus report cites recent improvements in servicing and preparation of travel agency mid- and back- office systems as key to scaling over the coming months and years.

Remaining barriers to widespread NDC adoption include the need to upgrade airline systems, embrace a common NDC standard, and the transformation of mid- and back- office systems for travel sellers.

The report calls on the industry to prioritise collaboration and experimentation to advance NDC adoption.