The recent decision of Emirates to make their offerings available for booking on their ‘store’ on Alitrip via an NDC API indicates the readiness of intermediaries in China to embrace new developments, Airlines have been looking at ways to refine their technology set up to gain sufficient control over what they sell.
The combined impact of complexity in both technology and distribution isn’t easy for airlines to deal with. But as new ways of connectivity emerge, airlines have been looking at options to serve rich content and make special offers to indirect channel partners, for instance bundled ancillaries tailored for a particular intermediary.
The decision of airlines to let sales partners connect to IT systems directly based on the IATA NDC standard also recently resulted in a new development in China.
Emirates finalized a deal with Alitrip (Fliggy) to distribute their rich content and ancillaries via an NDC connection. The airline’s flagship store on the e-commerce site is being facilitated by Emirates Online B2B, the airline’s IATA NDC API powered by Farelogix. Airlines, of course, aren’t shutting the door on GDS as the latter’s contribution in terms of reach, high yield customers etc. can’t be ignored. But airlines are definitely looking at ways to being in control of their distribution and complement their decision to invest in their product, be it for aircraft, meals etc. In case of Alitrip, Emirates has also chosen Alipay to ensure a transaction comes through in one ecosystem of Alibaba.
Commenting on the significance of this move by a global carrier tailored for the Chinese market, Jim Davidson, CEO, Farelogix said, “API distribution by airlines will become ubiquitous. Not tomorrow, but probably faster than we think. (It exemplifies) as more third parties, particularly new entrants such as Alitrip, enter the distribution space, their ability to connect to airline APIs becomes cookie cutter and the preferred connection methodology after the first few are completed.” Farelogix CEO Jim Davidson