Following the successful implementation of its NDC roadmap during 2018, Travelport has completed the onboarding of the first group of travel agencies to receive access to NDC content.
UK-based travel agency Meon Valley completed the first live booking using NDC content through Travelport’s Smartpoint desktop in October 2018. The next phase of Travelport’s NDC roadmap involved onboarding a larger group of travel agencies. To ensure NDC works for all parts of the travel ecosystem, Travelport has implemented its booking solution with a wide variety of agencies of different sizes, including American Express Global Business Travel, dnata, Gray Dawes Group, Global Travel Management, Meon Valley Travel, Premier Holidays, TAG, Travel Counsellors and Travel & Transport Statesman.
Commenting on this milestone of Travelport’s NDC delivery, Nick Dagg, Senior Vice President—Agency Commerce, Travelport, said, “We’ve taken great care in managing the roll-out of our NDC booking capability through Smartpoint to our agency customers. This has allowed us to learn as we go, listen to the feedback from our customers and refine our NDC solution to ensure it provides an integrated choice.”
Working with key parties is integral to delivering access to all content with a focus on improving traveller experience, controlling cost, maintaining full end-to-end servicing, as well as transparent fares, pricing and comparison shopping, feels John Bukowski, Director, Content and Distribution, American Express Global Business Travel. “NDC is an important step in advancing airline offers and fare options, which we believe should remain focused on delivering value to corporate clients and not as a means to limit access to content, add cost or force new and costly airline connectivity. We look forward to continuing to engage with Travelport, airline partners, and others,” he said.
According to David Bishop, Commercial Director, Gray Dawes, NDC is a major shift in air content distribution. He elaborated, “We’ve provided feedback to Travelport as we work together to refine the NDC work-flow so that it best serves the agents who will use it.”
Travelport recently shared insights from the first phase of implementation of its NDC booking solution, as part of its commitment to ensure NDC works for all parts of the travel industry. These learnings highlighted the importance of agent familiarity, workflow integration, a considered roadmap, the demand for NDC content and the need for broad industry collaboration. Travelport will follow up with Smartpoint enhancements along with an API NDC connection channel through Travelport’s Trip Service API