Video: What we’ve learned since launching NDC

We’ve been live with NDC since March 2021

Since launching with Singapore Airlines and Qantas in 2021, to most recently with Qatar Airways and Avianca, we’ve learned a lot.

One thing that I think has been a keen observation is an awareness that the myopic focus on content and capabilities that the industry took was a mistake. The industry needed to be equally–or potentially–more focused on the scalability and performance of these NDC applications.

Shopping response times need to improve

As we’ve completed integrations with airlines, we continue to see challenges with getting shopping responses back in an acceptable time frame. So, to give some perspective: in traditional GDS shopping, majority of responses are sub-second. What we’ve seen in NDC implementations is the majority of responses are in excess of 5 seconds–some exceeding 10 seconds.

Now, the good news is that through diligence and partnering with some airlines, we’ve been able to make some progress on this front, and we’ve seen airlines reducing their response times pretty significantly. But this needs to become the norm, not a one-off approach we take.

The term “NDC standards” is a misnomer

We’ve also learned that NDC implementations vary from airline to airline due to different interpretations of the standards, different application of those workflows–so, as a result, this requires a lot of coordination across multiple stakeholders:

  • Airlines
  • Airline IT providers
  • NDC providers
  • Sellers
  • Corporate Buyers

The entire ecosystem has to coordinate to bring this to life. There’s just no such thing as a plug-and-play world, at least today, in terms of NDC.

There’s more work to do to meet agencies’ needs

Another thing we’ve learned is, frankly, there’s more work to do to be able to ensure all the data that agencies need for downline processes are included in the NDC messages. As we’ve done several of these integrations, we’ve identified critical gaps and we’re working with the airlines to close them so we can operationalize NDC content into the agency environment

NDC content integration into the GDS isn’t the destination

Probably the biggest thing we’ve learned is the overall significance of the operational impact of selling NDC source content has on the agency environment–and a recognition that getting to a scaled adoption is going to be a long journey.

NDC content integration into the GDS environment is just the first dependency–it’s not the destination. There are many dependencies on third party system providers and things like mid-office providers, back-office providers, corporate booking tools–and they all have work to do to truly be able to operationalize NDC in an end-to-end manner. Our thoughtful, ecosystem approach helps ensure that as we scale, we do so with the highest quality.

Looking for more detail? Check out our resources for getting started with NDC:

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