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Jim Davidson: Trends, Ideas, and Musings to Kick off the New Year

What does 2020 have in store for airline commerce? We asked thought-leaders across the Farelogix organization for their views. In today’s post, Farelogix CEO, Jim Davidson shares his thoughts and predictions. Stay tuned for insights from more Farelogix contributors next week.

Happy New Year from Farelogix!

As you can probably guess, 2019 was an interesting year for Farelogix, to say the least. It was the kind of year that none of us would have ever predicted. But we are looking forward to 2020 with tons of excitement.

2019 saw a massive rush by airlines to begin NDC API connection work to the GDSs. At last count, Farelogix had 26 airline NDC APIs either in the connection process or already connected and in limited production with all GDSs. And, that’s just Farelogix supported airlines. The race is on. With all the NDC competition out there, it won’t surprise me to see over 100 airline NDC API connections to the GDSs by the end of 2020. Absolutely amazing!

With all this NDC activity in the industry, what better way to begin 2020 than with a blog on NDC@Scale. A good place to start is for me to define NDC@Scale from my point of view. I don’t want to confuse my perspective on NDC@Scale with IATA’s initiative, but they are connected.

I believe there are three main components of NDC@Scale. First, the most obvious component is the ever-increasing number of airlines that are connecting their NDC APIs to third parties, aggregators, and GDSs. Next is the actual number of transactions flowing through all those airline NDC APIs. Lastly, and significant to all of us who build and support NDC APIs for airlines, is the ability to operate an airline’s NDC API program at full scale. That means creating offers with all the bells and whistles. It’s this last element I want to briefly focus on.

It appears to me that NDC is very quickly becoming inextricably linked to search. Or, to be more precise relevant search responses. With NDC, an airline’s control of the offer comes with a responsibility to return offers – fast. Enabling airlines to deliver relevant offers based on who’s asking (consumer, corporate, check-in, travel agency, OTA) in a second or less, to me, is the essence of NDC@Scale. For many airlines, that’s plain scary. But it needn’t be, with the right offer engines in place. In fact, with the necessary horsepower, accomplishing NDC@Scale can be fun.

Think about dynamically constructing and delivering unique and relevant offers based on point-of-inquiry elements (dynamically adjusted prices including taxes, or bundles based on availability, yield, who’s asking, etc.). Can all that processing be done? Absolutely! But it requires a commitment to innovation, hard work, and lots of imagination. So, if you are wondering what will be keeping the engineers, data scientists, business analysis, project managers, and IT professionals busy at Farelogix in 2020, wonder no more. We will be delivering NDC@Scale with what I call Intensified Offers!

Look for more musings from some other Farelogix thought leaders next week.

If you are interested in exploring NDC@Scale and other topics, join us at FLX-Disrupt 2020. Taking place April 27 – 29 in Miami, FLX-Disrupt is a complimentary event for airline professionals seeking to take their revenue management, merchandising, and distribution strategies to the next level (maximum of three representatives per airline). For more information, visit www.flx-disrupt.com.


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