American Airlines, American Express Global Business Travel, Carlson Wagonlit Travel and Flight Centre Travel Group are to join Sabre’s Beyond NDC programme as launch partners.
The tech company says attracting the firms shows it is leading the industry toward “next-generation retailing, distribution and fulfilment”.
The idea behind Beyond NDC is for Sabre to collaborate with companies committed to enabling the adoption of the IATA-NDC standard and test the capabilities of processing NDC-enabled offers and orders.
Each of the four launch partners will participate in the solution design process, as it works through the testing process. More participants in the programme are expected to be announced at a later date.
“By partnering with the world’s largest airline and several of the world’s leading travel management companies, 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,” said Dave Shirk, Sabre president of travel solutions.
“Launching this program 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’s technology must be designed to meet the needs of all participants in the travel ecosystem, including the integration of content from multiple sources.
“We’re committed to partnering with Sabre and other travel industry leaders to bring NDC benefits to our customers,” said Alison Taylor, senior vice president of global sales and distribution at American Airlines. “Together we will develop capabilities that deliver an improved and personalized traveller experience.”
“This partnership reflects our commitment to drive industry progress by collaboration throughout the travel ecosystem,” said Mike Qualantone, American Express Global Business Travel executive vice president of global supplier relations. “As the industry evolves, we will continue to work with Sabre and other partners to drive value for our clients by delivering scalable solutions that provide cost-efficient access to content and improve upon servicing capabilities.”
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.”
Greg Parker, head of Flight Centre Travel Group’s air business, said: “This collaboration will help deliver exciting, next generation solutions and drive consistency in the end-to-end process. Enhanced workflows that are consistent across travel suppliers are vitally important, as are the services for agencies including integration points throughout mid- and back-office processes. We look forward to working with all of our preferred partners throughout the value chain on how we can leverage connectivity to drive additional retailing capabilities.”