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Driving NDC Adoption: Working with Travel Partners to Build a Successful Partnership

For airlines contemplating the implementation of NDC or looking to amplify the success of their existing strategy, Accelya created an adoption toolkit that provides insights into successful adoption strategies.


This blog will review the strategies and examples from the toolkit and help you understand what would work best for you.

Incentives: Offering a Reward

Incentivizing involves enticing travel partners by offering exclusive content and packages through NDC connectivity. This approach creates a mutually beneficial scenario for airlines, agents, and customers. Incentives can take various forms, including discounted NDC-sourced products, content differentiation via fares, bundles, fare brands, and commercial incentives.

Penalties: Encouraging migration

On the flip side, penalizing involves discouraging the use of non-NDC-sourced content by removing incentives or adding surcharges. This strategy aims to reallocate distribution costs and steer sales towards the airline’s preferred channels. By putting the best offers into the most effective channels, airlines can help migrate to other channels and optimize the cost of sale.

Wholesale Model: Back to the Future

The toolkit highlights how some airlines are utilizing the Wholesale Model, where airlines provide NDC-sourced content to travel agents by different means, who then choose from whom either GDS or other third-party aggregator what works best for them and under what terms to source the NDC content. This approach empowers agents, allowing them to present their travellers with the most complete and richest offer relevant to them, and is gaining traction as GDSs become NDC-ready.

Persuading Agencies: The Importance of Partnership

Once an adoption strategy is in place, the toolkit emphasizes persuading travel agencies to join the NDC journey. Clear communication, demonstrating mutual benefits, and providing support specific to the airline’s NDC program are all crucial elements.

Pioneering Airlines: Already Driving NDC at Scale

Hawaiian Airlines implemented a well-rounded approach to NDC adoption. Hawaiian combined multiple strategies, such as withdrawing certain fares from legacy channels, implementing distribution surcharges, and recovering costs incurred by agents using traditional channels. Hawaiian Airline’s strategy has been a huge success with CEO Peter Ingram stating in June 2023 that About half of their U.S. booking volume through third-party sources was now moving through the NDC channels.

Expect Acceleration in NDC Adoption

NDC is here to stay, and airlines should expect its acceleration. Adopting NDC brings benefits across the value chain, including increased time-to-market, innovation possibilities, and more choices for customers and partners. The decision on the most suitable strategy depends on various factors, including brand strategy, competitive position, technological independence, and the maturity of the airline’s NDC-enabled solution.

This toolkit is a fantastic resource to help identify what levers you could use to help drive NDC adoption. From adding innovative new content, building win-win partnerships with sellers, or adding continuous and dynamic pricing to optimize fares, the toolkit looks at it all and much more.

To access to all the insights download it here:

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