Singapore Airlines (SIA) has launched its first New Distribution Capability (NDC) connection following its agreement with travel search and booking site Skyscanner.
NDC was conceived by IATA to address some of the industry’s current inventory distribution limitations by supplementing the capabilities of third party channels to match those of the airline’s websites.
Customers who choose to purchase SIA flights through Skyscanner will be able to do so directly, instead of having to be referred to the SIA website to complete a booking. Other capabilities such as the ability to select seats and the availability of personalised offers will be implemented progressively.
Direct bookings on Skyscanner are currently limited pending testing but are expected to be rolled out progressively within the next few months.
SIA recently obtained its Level 3 NDC Certification, which covers both Offer and Order management, under which an airline takes full control of the way fares are offered to customers as well as the booking, payment and ticketing processes once customers have chosen a fare that they wish to purchase.
Moving forward, SIA will further develop its NDC capabilities to offer other ancillary services and personalised offers for its customers.
“With an NDC Level 3 Certification, we will also be seeking out even more connections with travel partners to improve distribution through SIA’s third-party sales channels,” said Campbell Wilson, senior vice president sales & marketing.
Hugh Aitken, senior director strategic partnerships at Skyscanner, added that the engine’s direct booking capability could benefit customers by minimising friction, as well as airlines, who will be able to better showcase up-sell options with an airline-branded checkout flow.