NDC and ONE Order are already revolutionizing how airline tickets are distributed. Retail competencies are quickly becoming a core requirement for airline sales units. A whole new industry has already grown around new opportunities and technology. A cross competence survey of the UNEX Airline and the UNEX Retail practices has shown that only about half of all airlines are currently getting NDC ready (for ONE Order even less) while some strong retailers are monitoring the new opportunities closely.
Who will make the race? Who will be the champion and who will not survive?
No question, Google has the power and expertise to become the global platform for airline ticket distribution. But given their business model they might not serve all sales channels.
With its Travel Accelerator product SAP has set a signal to become a player in air ticket distribution. And one shouldn’t believe that SAP is satisfied with being just one of many players. We expect that SAP will set the standard for B2B airline tickets sales once NDC and ONE Order have become the norm across the industry.
Retail giant Amazon, too, plays a role in air ticket sales. Via the Apple pay service they have just recently started a pilot phase in India. With its reach into private and corporate markets Amazon might well become a mega player in the distribution field.
Amadeus, Sabre, Travelport
Historically a few major GDS companies have owned the market of airline distribution and they are already fighting to stay relevant in this business. Especially Amadeus is doing a great job in developing new fields of services around IT.
ATPCO and SITA
For decades these two companies have been the cornerstones of airline distribution infrastructure. They have high competence in the business and they also develop new services such as their NDC Exchange product which we believe will become the central architecture to translate data standards.
We have surveyed the NDC landscape and counted over 50 relevant NDC based aggregators that enable direct sales between airlines on the one hand and corporates, OTAs and tour operators on the other. The more successful ones have been acquired by major players although the question is still unanswered if these investments will ever pay off.
For an airline executive it is a complex question with whom to cooperate? Which technology will set the standard? What platform will deliver valuable and continuous business?
UNEX has been following the development for years and has teamed up with some of the leading players. We consult airlines on their new distribution strategy, design best-in-class commercial models and deliver with our IT partners a modern and reliable retail experience for tickets and ancillaries.