By Samson Echenim
Uniked Kingdom mega carrier, British Airways says it is strengthening its new distribution capability (NDC) platform with significant new initiatives that will enable agents to better integrate and manage NDC in the operational environment.
The airline the initiatives would accelerate the benefits available to customers who book through NDC enabled travel agents.
NDC is a travel industry-supported programme launched by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to improve communications between airlines and travel agents. NDC facilitates access to a richer and more complete inventory from the airlines, as well as access to the wider range of services they offer, than was possible through legacy systems.
“The latest changes will drive the airline closer to achieving IATA’s goal of 20 per cent of indirect bookings through NDC APIs by the end of 2020. British Airways has already exceeded this target in the UK,” the airline said in a statement on Wednesday.
From the end of March, travel agents connected to NDC will benefit from enhancements to complex servicing capability, which will allow them to accept or search between different flight options, without the need to contact a call centre, the airline stated.
BA said its NDC platform would now include full servicing prior to ticketing for agents who offer their customers a delay between booking and ticketing, adding that this will give agents the ability to change dates and times for held bookings.
“This follows the launch of a new 24/7 NDC Service Escalation Process which complements existing support structures already in place,” the airline noted.
The airline is also expanding its Long Haul Additional Price Points across more routes and introducing extra price points on Short Haul. The lowest three Short Haul Basic inventories will now only be available through NDC and direct channels for customers starting their journey from the UK.
Rogier van Enk, British Airways’ head of Distribution, said: “These enhancements demonstrate our commitment to delivering more choice and value to customers and trade partners. It’s just the beginning of our 2020 distribution strategy and we will continue to listen and collaborate with our agency partners as we expand our New Distribution Capability offering. If there is ever a time for trade partners to join us on this journey, it’s now.”
According to the airline, additional price points and short haul basic content will be available through any trade partner connected to British Airways’ NDC APIs and through the airlines’ direct channels.