Even before the pandemic started, the New Distribution Capabilities standard did not really have a breakthrough. And now, with priorities shifted to cash management and limited operations, it has become even harder for NDC to survive. So is the idea of full channel control, rich content offers, personalization, and reduced distribution costs gone forever? Definitely not.

We believe the exact opposite is the case. Those airlines that have the financial resources to further develop their NDC capabilities will strengthen their position against competitors for three key reasons:

  1. If there is one thing that passengers worry about these days, it is staying healthy. The rich content capabilities outside the traditional EDIFACT-powered GDSs offer the display of pictures and videos. The airline that visualizes its hygiene processes during the booking process definitely has a competitive advantage. With NDC, this can happen not only on the airline’s own website but also in multiple travel portals.
  2. Demand for leisure and business travel will grow differently by segments and will be different from what we have seen in the past. Different demand equals different willingness to pay. Those airlines that can differentiate their offers by customer profile can quickly use trial and error offers to discover new demand opportunities. That knowledge can affect pricing and network decisions.
  3. Cost reduction is the number-one measure to survive COVID-19. As happy as an airline is about any GDS booking, it could be happier if it were an NDC booking at a far lower distribution cost.

NDC is definitely still the norm for modern retailing in the airline industry. Before COVID, UNEX had calculated profit increases from 5% to 10% for passenger airlines, depending on the product extension along the travel journey. For now, we estimate that the impact of NDC will be far greater, as no airline can rely on its historical data and forecasting models. The quicker an airline understands the changing market dynamics, the more profit and market share it will get.

How UNEX can support you

UNEX has successfully developed NDC product and pricing strategies for international airlines based on real demand per flight event. We have done so for cargo freighters as well.

Together with our implementation partners, we deliver concept and implementation in one team, from sandbox scenario development to real-life offerings and KPI measurement. Working with UNEX is a team effort between your and our experts. Combining our UNited EXperience – this is what UNEX stands for.