Firstly, what is NDC for those who are not familiar?
New Distribution Capability (NDC) or ‘continuous pricing’ is a relatively new technology standard in the travel industry that promises to revolutionise the way airlines distribute their products and services. Created by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), NDC is designed to enhance data exchange between airlines and service providers, enabling them to create and distribute offers more easily as well as introduce further ancillary options directly through TMC’s, such as Hannon Travel.
When implemented fully, NDC has the potential to benefit TMCs/travel agencies, airlines, and end consumers, by streamlining the booking process and offering further personalisation, something we see as hugely positive for the business traveller in particular.
Here are just a few of the ways that we believe NDC will enhance the corporate experience:
- Greater customisation
One of the primary benefits of NDC is the ability for airlines to offer personalised products and services to customers, by using customer data to offer targeted promotions and options. Customer data derived directly from business travellers has the potential to enhance the corporate experience, as airline offers can be tailored specifically to the business traveller’s priorities.
- Borderless distribution
NDC also gives airlines greater control over their pricing and distribution regardless of region or country. For TMC’s based in Europe, for example, this broadens access to global market fares, that would otherwise have required a local connection – a huge benefit for companies with a global presence, as a single TMC with round-the-clock support can meet all their needs.
- Real-time pricing
NDC enables airlines to offer more dynamic pricing, which means that prices can change in real time based on demand and other potential market factors. This presents potential positives and negatives. Fares may either be lower or higher than what we commonly refer to as ‘legacy fares,’ contingent on the specific route taken by the passenger. Although, it should be noted that the availability of NDC fares does not impact existing route deals you may have with specific airlines, which gives you exclusive access to lower fares.
- Ancillary services
NDC makes it easier for TMCs to purchase ancillary services on behalf of customers, such as seat upgrades, extra baggage, and lounge access, directly from the airline. This makes the whole booking process more efficient and where customers wish to use the Hannon Travel Online Booking Tool directly, they will have full transparency on service add-ons available from all NDC-compliant airlines, which would not be the case today for any TMC online booking facility.
Early adopters such as Lufthansa, KLM, American Airlines, Singapore Airlines and British Airways are at the forefront of NDC, with their competitors rapidly following suit. Over the last three months, there has been a rapid increase in both the availability and bookings of NDC fares, and we anticipate this upward trend continuing.
What does NDC mean for clients of Hannon Travel?
Hannon Travel has always adopted a ‘best journey, best value’ approach, which means that we will always seek the best route for your trip, in your preferential standard and at the best possible price. Our established global airline partnerships mean we access the best content today, regardless of the introduction of NDC. That said, as more airlines adopt this new capability, this can only mean access to more comprehensive, real-time content, received direct from airlines, a broader choice for passengers and more flexibility, which we see as beneficial.
“Navigating the evolution of NDC is hugely exciting. We have gone beyond ‘early adopters’ and are now seeing all the leading airlines gravitate towards offering NDC fares. We believe NDC will offer greater transparency and optionality for our clients, and we see this as hugely positive.”
Digital and Product Lead, Hannon Travel
Staying close to advancements in NDC
Suffice it to say, we will be staying close to advancements in NDC adoption through our MD, Eimer Hannon’s role on the International Air Transport Association Agency Passenger Programme (IATA), industry involvement and via our established airline partners, ensuring our clients gain access to the best fares and advance options.
Driving and supporting industry advancements is hugely important to us and enables us to deliver the best experience for our clients, which is always our priority.
Find out more about Hannon Travel’s approach to NDC by getting in touch with our team at firstname.lastname@example.org.