LANGLEY, January 31, 2019 – Following the successful implementation of its NDC roadmap during 2018, Travelport (NYSE:TVPT), the leading travel commerce platform, has completed the onboarding of the first group of travel agencies to receive access to NDC content.
In October 2018, UK-based travel agency Meon Valley completed the first live booking using NDC content through Travelport’s Smartpoint desktop. 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 in Travelport’s NDC delivery, Nick Dagg, SVP Global Agency Sales said: “We work at the heart of the travel industry and our agency customers rely on us to provide them with choice through access to the broadest range of travel content. NDC is no exception and 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 important feedback from our customers as they operate in this new distribution era and refine our NDC solution to ensure it provides seamless, integrated travel choice. I’d like to thank all our customers for collaborating with us as we deliver an NDC solution which works for everyone.”
John Bukowski, Director, Content and Distribution, American Express Global Business Travel said: “We are working with key parties to ensure we continue to deliver access to all content, with a focus on improving traveler experience, controlling cost, maintaining full end to end servicing, as well as transparent fares, pricing and comparison shopping. 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 to continue to progress NDC capabilities while maintaining a focus on delivering a scalable, cost effective way to access content for our clients.”
David Bishop, Commercial Director, Gray Dawes said: “NDC is a major shift in air content distribution so it’s been great to be part of the initial group of agencies with access to NDC content through Travelport Smartpoint. We’ve provided feedback to Travelport as we work together to refine the NDC work-flow so it best serves the agents who will use it day-to-day and have appreciated Travelport’s collaborative approach.”
Mervyn Williamson, Managing Director, Travel and Transport Statesman said: “If you’re involved in travel, you’ve probably had a conversation in the last few months on NDC. It’s having a major impact on all of us as we work through the best way to be ready for the new era of content distribution, maintaining at the same time optimum fulfillment service for our clients. Having access to NDC content as soon as possible was of vital importance to us and our travelers so we were pleased to have been part of the initial group of NDC-connected agencies through Travelport Smartpoint.”
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.
Following the successful onboarding of the current agency partners Travelport will continue to refine its NDC booking solutions. Travelport will follow up with further Smartpoint enhancements along with an API NDC connection channel through Travelport’s Trip Service API mid-year.