By Samson Echenim
Egencia, the business travel platform from Expedia Group, has announced the launch of a large, multi-country activation of Lufthansa New Distribution Capability (NDC) content – one of the biggest by any travel management company (TMC) to date.
Thousands of Egenciaclients, and millions of Egencia travellers, across 10 countries can now access NDC fares from Lufthansa, Europe’s largest airline group. With this, Egencia is the first TMC to offer NDC content at a significant scale. Alongside a broad choice of content, customers can now book fares from Lufthansa German Airlines, Austrian Airlines and SWISS Airlines. This means travellers have a one-stop-shop to compare, shop, and book flights, while travel managers can now report on key areas such as policy compliance, travel spend, and duty of care across all fare types.
“We’re confident in the benefits of NDC for our shared travellers. Our partnership with Egencia delivers customers the most flexible choices for booking Lufthansa Group content. Working closely with Egencia presented Lufthansa Group an invaluable opportunity to provide greater innovation, more diverse content and enhance the booking experience for our customers,” said Thomas Eggert, senior director, Global and Strategic Corporate Accounts.
Activation is just one part of successfully enabling NDC content; servicing and supporting customers effectively and consistently is critical to delivering a great experience. To this end, over a thousand Egencia travel consultants are trained on Lufthansa’s own agent tools, with a focus on delivering high quality offline support, and a personalized service for customers. There are no changes to existing processes for air bookings, with Egencia continuing to support all existing customer payment types.
As the NDC continues to evolve, content can be scaled quickly and efficiently through Egencia’s travel management platform, ensuring a seamless experience for customers whether they book via desktop, mobile or offline through a travel consultant. Egencia will also provide NDC content for British Airways beginning in November, and importantly, display NDC and non-NDC content side by side. This gives customers full visibility and choice on air options, and the ability to mix both types of fares within a single booking.
“As more and more airlines roll out NDC content, the options available to customers will only increase. Understanding and pinpointing the best options that will enhance the travelers’ experience is extremely important to us”, said ArvindPrakash, vice president of Product Management at Egencia.
“Our strategy is to leverage Expedia Group’s technology first, which sources NDC content directly from the airline. And to ensure customers have access to a diverse range of air content for their travel programs, critically we remain agile and open to multi-sourcing NDC content whether that be through GDS’s, direct connects or aggregators.”
capital market February 24, 2020