NDC – Where are we now?

As NDC bookings gain momentum Amadeus offers insight about where the travel industry is with the new standard

Photo: Gianni Pisanello

Brought to you by Gianni Pisanello, VP of Amadeus NDC [X]

Amadeus' NDC Journey

The introduction of NDC eight years ago was part of a wider mission to digitalise the entire travel industry. However, while plenty has already been achieved, we are still at the very beginning of this journey. To fully realise the potential of NDC, full scale global adoption is required from travel sellers and airlines.

Despite the benefits offered by NDC, the travel sector faces challenges in evolving the standard of tech to a level that will allow it to be used widely. Firstly, the lack of true standardisation within NDC remains a major challenge for the industry. Airlines today use different versions of NDC, which support different functionalities and use cases. For NDC to work for the industry, it is crucial that we create a shared understanding across the industry.

Furthermore, there is a need for performance and scalability to be ramped up through APIs which support large amount of transactions per second. The third and final challenge is the development of the commercial model – stakeholders need to benefit economically from NDC to ensure its global adoption. Last year, we launched NDC [X] to help address these challenges and drive widespread uptake across the industry.

Driving NDC adoption

However, despite these challenges, we have achieved remarkable progress since NDC was launched in 2011. At Amadeus, our partners have embraced the NDC [X] program, with big names including Flight Centre, Travix, Qantas, Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific joining the list of partners. These partnerships now mean that we are helping partners take live NDC bookings.

Whilst defining our NDC approach at Amadeus, we consulted all stakeholders extensively across the industry. The consensus was that a simplified, future proof environment that offered the full benefits of NDC and could manage future initiatives like One Order was the best approach. This is the vision that we are committed to and working towards.

The powerful benefits of NDC

Ultimately, NDC will deliver new benefits to the entire travel industry. By working closely together, the industry will be able to unlock new value for travellers, and in doing so, generate more business for all. For example, NDC has the potential to bring travellers richer and more tailored content at the time of booking. This could come in the form of packaged deals personalised to each traveller or corporation.

Whilst the myriad of travel possibilities and combinations provides a huge opportunity for travel sellers, it is also creating one of the most important issues in the travel industry: content fragmentation. The challenge is aggregating and normalising travel content from multiple sources so it can be searched and compared by both travel sellers and travellers quickly and efficiently. By integrating NDC capabilities into the Amadeus Travel Platform we help travel sellers reduce fragmentation by giving access to a full range of travel offers through the click of a button (and without the need for more expensive and less scalable alternatives).

Why we must continue to collaborate

So, it’s been over a year since the initial launch of NDC [X], but what does the next 12 months look like? We know that NDC will be more of an evolution than a revolution, with pace largely dependent on true standardisation, performance and the right economic model. Ultimately, if airlines can create new value and new exciting offers with NDC, then this will drive additional revenues for the industry and lead to further investment in technology. And, if NDC works for travel sellers as well as airlines, then we will get adoption at much greater scale across the industry. For NDC to reveal its full set of benefits, it is crucial that the industry collaborates and works together. Through NDC [X], we are continuing to innovate – and look forward to global enablement of NDC through our Web Services, Selling Platform Connect and cytric Travel & Expense solutions.

Working together with industry-leading airlines and travel sellers, we are well on our way to realizing the full potential of NDC – a reflection of our continued commitment to ensuring our partners have new way to access rich, relevant and diverse content at the tips of their fingers.

Photo: Gianni Pisanello
Photo: Gianni Pisanello

Gianni Pisanello
Vice-President, NDC [X] Program, Amadeus IT Group

Since December 2017, Gianni is responsible for defining and executing Amadeus’ vision around IATA’s New Distribution Capability (NDC). In collaboration with airlines, travel sellers and IATA, Gianni is tasked with identifying and delivering the right NDC-based solutions that integrate the needs of all industry stakeholders, under the right economics.

Since joining Amadeus in 2005, Gianni has held a number of positions within the company, including:

  • Airline Business Strategy Director (currently acting), overseeing the full scope of Amadeus’ airline related businesses
  • Strategic Marketing Director, Airline Distribution, where he oversaw Commercial Strategy, Product Portfolio, and Marketing Communications
  • Director of Commercial Finance, reporting directly to the Chief Financial Officer, where he led the department that provides deal, pricing and negotiation support to commercial teams worldwide, across all business units.

Prior to Amadeus, he worked in private equity at Permira, covering technology and telecoms, as well as in strategy consulting.

Gianni holds an MBA from INSEAD, an MSc from the London School of Economics and a MEng in Aeronautics from Imperial College London.

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