Sabre is to work with American Airlines and leading global TMCs to develop new solutions based around NDC standards.
The Texas-based travel technology firm is launching the Beyond NDC programme in partnership with American Airlines and three major TMCs – American Express Global Business Travel, Carlson Wagonlit Travel and Flight Centre Travel Group.
Each of the four partners will collaborate with Sabre to design, test and develop ways of using NDC technology standards
Dave Shirk, Sabre’s president of travel solutions, said:
“We will bring to market NDC-enabled solutions that go beyond shopping and booking to integrate with the retailing, distribution and fulfilment systems that support the travel ecosystem.
“Launching this programme with such heavyweights illustrates that we are looking past the near-term goals of NDC to define the future of intelligent airline retailing at scale in both direct and indirect channels.”
Sabre added it planned to work with partners to create NDC-enabled solutions that would “introduce a new level of benefits for travellers”.
Kathy Morgan, Sabre’s vice president of product management, said NDC was still “very early in its life cycle” but had now reached the point in terms of stability and capability where Sabre could build solutions “on top of them to scale”.
She said new NDC-enabled solutions would tackle issues such as schedule changes, voluntary changes, compliance with travel policy and improving the ability to locate travellers in an emergency situation as part of duty-of-care responsibilities.
Sabre has already announced plans to offer NDC-based solutions by the end of this year. More partners are expected to join the Beyond NDC programme over the next few months.
Vince Chirico, senior vice president, global network and technology partners at Carlson Wagonlit Travel, added:
“Bringing NDC to the market together with the GDSs brings speed to market and the potential to transform the traveller experience through enhanced choice for our corporate traveller customers.”
Chirico was also quoted in a release from Amadeus which hit the wires a few hours or so after Sabre’s announcement, confirming CWT’s participation in Amadeus’ NDC-X program.
“We’re pleased to be part of the NDC-X program, and look forward to working with all our industry partners on making this a success…Partnering with the GDS is the fastest way to realize the potential of NDC, delivering enhanced choice for our corporate traveler customers and transforming the traveler experience.”
Similarly, Amadeus also announced that American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) will take part in NDC-X, with this release stating a timeline, saying that
[GBT] will use Amadeus’ NDC-enabled solution to test and familiarize itself with the new NDC flow of ‘shop, order, pay’. This will help GBT prepare to implement the industrialized version of the solution, which will include servicing capabilities, in 2019.