Emirates opens store on China’s Alitrip via NDC connection

Emirates opened a Flagship Store on Alitrip, the travel subsidiary of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, enabling the distribution of it flights and rich content directly to Chinese consumers.

The deal was facilitated by Emirates Online B2B, the airline’s IATA NDC Level 2-certified API powered by Farelogix.

Jim Davidson, chief executive officer of Farelogix, said it is the first airline flagship store in the industry with a NDC connection.

Emirates has been in production with Emirates Online B2B for several years.

It uses Farelogix Open Connect technology, providing the airline with total control of its content.

It also enables users to make and manage bookings out of the Emirates reservations system without any third-party intervention, using industry-standard XML protocols required by travel retailing platforms such as Alitrip.

Emirates also implemented Alipay, the preferred payment method of Alitrip customers. The move will provide enhanced reporting capabilities to Emirates.

Davidson said the Alitrip-Emirates tie-up is part of “a bit of a tipping point” for NDC, which got off to a rocky start when IATA first introduced the “new distribution capability” in 2012 to a chorus of confusion and controversy.

At business travel forums, he said, travel managers are saying they want the content that NDC APIs can provide. Some GBTA conference panels this summer will focus on implementation, he said.

Farelogix also announced that the Emirates Online B2B platform now features advanced seat selection and payment, supported by rich content integrated with graphical seat maps.

EOL B2B includes the EOL Agency Desktop as well as the Emirates B2B (NDC Certified) API, both powered by Farelogix.

The new seat capabilities are the latest in a series of enhancements to EOL B2B, which enables thousands of travel agencies to shop and book Emirates flights and fare brands, along with a wide range of value-added services aimed at distinguishing the Emirates brand and traveler experience.

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