A new report from Amadeus says that adoption of New Distribution Capability (NDC) has accelerated over the past 18 months, and that 2021 is the year the solution is being adopted at scale. Airlines have begun to make tailored offers available, as well as to experiment with innovations like “continuous pricing” and new types of bundled offers. Travel sellers of all shapes and sizes are now going live across the world, with over 2,500 travel agencies across 50 markets now able to book and service airline content via NDC using Amadeus solutions. The technology underpinning NDC has advanced significantly, according to the report. It cites recent improvements in servicing and preparation of travel agency mid- and back-office systems as key to scaling over the coming months and years. Ángel Gallego, executive vice president, travel distribution, said that despite the strain caused by COVID-19, “the industry has not sacrificed its commitment to NDC.” On the airline side, he said, the company is now seeing new differentiated product bundles and price points. On the travel seller side, every Amadeus-connected travel seller will be able to book NDC content, alongside content sourced in other ways, by the end of this year. On the technology side, said Gallego, “we have continued to deliver on our promise to offer scalable, innovative solutions that incorporate vital features such as post-booking servicing.” The report also provided insights into barriers that remain a challenge to widespread NDC adoption, which include the need to upgrade airline systems and embrace a common NDC standard, and the transformation of mid- and back- office systems for travel sellers.

The report calls on the industry to prioritize collaboration and experimentation to advance NDC adoption even further, specifically:

  • Collaboration: The success of NDC remains dependent on the industry’s ability to keep talking. Through greater collaboration, it will be easier to recognize each other’s challenges and interests, helping to align goals and deliver the end-to-end value the entire ecosystem expects.
  • Experimentation: NDC is an innovation playground, and by ramping up NDC experimentation and testing, the industry can better understand how this new standard of digital retailing can improve the travel experience and accelerate recovery.