Sabre and IATA are working to “a shared vision” to roll out the Offers and Orders (O&O) distribution and retailing platform as a better alternative to the legacy airline passenger system.
Investing billions in its own technological transformation – including a US$100m spend in 2022 alone – to drive innovation and transformation across the industry, Sabre is targeting O&O for “an aspirational goal of 100 per cent transition by 2030”.
Speaking to TTG Asia on the side-lines of the recent CAPA Asia Aviation Summit, John Chapman, head of strategic sales and business development, Asia Pacific at Sabre, said there was convergence among full-service carriers wanting to “unbundle” their products and use artificial intelligence and machine learning to understand “what the customer wants, his propensity to pay and market conditions”.
Chapman explained O&O would move “PNR (passenger name record), EMD (electronic miscellaneous document for options such as preferred seating, baggage, priority boarding) and e-ticketing into one order”.
Stressing how the new “more transparent and modular” O&O capability would simplify the process, he noted: “IATA is driving standards and Sabre is thinking beyond standards with the goal of delivering a modern, intelligent retail platform.”
He added Sabre was “heavily developing” O&O with a projected beta version launch by 2024.
According to Chapman, European airlines such as Finnair and Lufthansa Group were looking at “wholly replacing their legacy system” to be able to personalise and market their products better.
He commented that the pandemic pushed NDC and O&O to the fore, and this transition “is ultimately about providing a win-win-win for travel suppliers, buyers, and the end consumer”.
“The new world of O&O will generate smarter, more relevant offers for agents to put in front of their travellers, while streamlining servicing and increasing revenue opportunities for agents,” said Chapman, adding that Sabre’s role as a trusted technology partner is “to facilitate these interactions, create opportunities and reduce friction for all elements of the travel ecosystem”.
“O&O is the natural development in the NDC journey, and we’re already working with a number of airlines to place NDC content in front of agents, and ultimately, travellers.
“Our innovation partnerships, including with Google, are also key in creating the technological solutions needed to create the best offers for travellers,” Chapman pointed out.