We became the first Travel Aggregator and the second IT provider in the world  to receive IATA NDC Level 4 certification on Schema 18.2. What does that mean?

9 Jul 2019

We became the first Travel Aggregator and the second IT provider in the world to receive IATA NDC Level 4 certification on Schema 18.2. What does that mean?

TPConnects became the first Travel Aggregator and the second IT provider in the world to receive IATA NDC Level 4 certification on Schema 18.2. What’s more, out of the 8 companies on NDC Level 4 18.2 Schema, 3 airlines (Oman Air, Saudia and Air Mauritius) use TPConnect’s Offer and Order Management platform and two travel sellers (Flyazmeel.com and Zeeyarah.com) use TPConnects Travel aggregator platform. Please refer to the IATA NDC registry for more details.

In depth – NDC and ONE Order.

30 years ago, the airline industry had an edge over other industries in terms of automated and electronic distribution. With the introduction and use of the internet in the 1990s, this advantage eroded. Consumer retailing and other industries bypassed airlines in their ability to align retailing to the customer and the technological maturity. Late 1990’s and early turn of the century, airlines invested in Internet Booking Engines (IBEs) and e-commerce solutions to obtain as much market share in this new direct channel as possible. The first phase of digital transformation, was marked by the introduction of the electronic ticket (ETKT) and electronic miscellaneous documents (EMDs) for ancillary products. The project took several years to complete in 2008 with 100% electronic ticketing and by 2014 with 100% EMDs in IATA accredited agencies within the IATA BSP. Second phase of digital transformation started in 2012 with the vision of a New Distribution Capability (NDC), even before the completion of the first. It started with unsatisfied distribution and revenue management departments, unable to differentiate their products in the indirect channel and concerns over lack of control of distribution processes. A new retail architecture was created with offers, offer items, orders, order items and services. The control of determining the price, or as a matter of fact, the complete offer, is given back to the airline. After shopping and ordering comes fulfilment and accounting. These two capabilities are still based on paper-based constructs and processes.

NDC is the modernisation of a 40 year old data exchange standard for ticket distribution developed before the Internet was invented. NDC is aimed at replacing the old EDIFACT protocol that has been around since the 1980s and used by Global Distribution Systems (GDSs). As previously with 100% electronic ticketing IATA program, NDC is a large-scale program that will trigger substantial changes across the industry. With ONE Order, the third phase of digital transformation has begun, enabling process simplification of airline fulfilment of products and services. The IATA ONE Order program aims at simplifying airline reservation and accounting systems by gradually phasing out PNRs, ETKTs and EMDs and replacing them with modern internet-era Order records. ONE Order complements NDC and extends the capability of the Order Management System. From 2021, it is expected that NDC will have reached a critical mass for adoption and the ONE Order standard will have been tested by several pioneer airlines. As of July 2019 68 airlines are NDC Certified which represents more than 60% of the IATA Member Airlines Passenger Boarded per year and 2 airlines are ONE Order Certified out of the 240+ IATA Airlines. 21 Airlines comprises of over 30% of IATA Passenger Volumes committed 20% of their Passengers through NDC Channel by 2020. March 1, 2019 IATA aims at strengthening NDC certification with the creation of Level 4, Full Offer and Order Management, which includes additional Servicing Messages. More details on ONE Order are available here.

How TPConnects helps Airlines with its IATA NDC Level 4 and ONE Order Certification.

NDC enables airlines to REDUCE Distribution Cost, INCREASE revenue through upsell (including ancillary sales) and take control of the Passenger. The basic concept of NDC is personalised offers constructed by the airline and pushed to a customer irrespective of the selling channel the customer approach the airline. The sales channel can be the airline agent platform (for IATA and Non-IATA Travel Agents), Holidays Website, through GDS or Meta Search Engines, Travel Management Companies, airlines own website or mobile applications or through the Corporate Booking Tool. The airlines should be able to construct (or even bundle air and non air ancillary) Offer to the customer. For this airlines have to have all their user interfaces (Sales Channels) integrated to one centrally managed middleware. TPConnects currently offers a PSS agnostic Offer and ONE Order Certified Order Management Platform (Middle Ware) integrated with all User Interfaces (Sales Channels). Since all the User Interfaces (Travel Agency Portal with booking engine and after sales, Airline.com website, Corporate Booking Tool, NDC APIs out for GDS or Meta Search Engines, Holidays.com Website, Mobile Apps etc) airlines are able to push offers through the Offer Management System and transactions are reported through IATA Financial Gateway (IFG). TPConnects is also an IATA Financial Gateway (IFG) Solution Provider. Would you like to know more about TPConnects Airline Solution, please contact marketing@tpconnects.com or register to receive a complete document explaining ‘How our solutions can assist you to INCREASE Revenue, REDUCE Distribution Cost and Take Control of the Passenger’. Today, Oman Air, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Air Mauritius and Egypt Air rely on TPConnects Offer and Order Management Platform and User Interface with reporting to IATA BSP / ARC.

How TPConnects helps travel agents with its IATA NDC Level 4 Certification.

The biggest challenge of today’s travel agents are that they do not have digital assets while their customers are tech savvy and use Mobile and Internet to book. On top of this travel agents have to browse through multiple websites and sources to provide the best offers for customers. TPConnects currently offers a GDS and PSS agnostic Middle Ware integrated with all User Interfaces (Sales Channels). All the User Interfaces (Travel Agency Portal with booking engine along with after sales (refund, reissue etc), agency.com website, Corporate Booking Tool, NDC APIs out for Meta Search Engines, Holidays.com Website, Mobile Apps etc are provided by TPConnects. Travel agents are able to shop, book, fulfill and manage flight and non air ancillary content (hotel, car transfer etc from one single screen irrespective of where the content comes through (whether it is from the GDS, NDC Channel or LCC or any of the Hotel aggregators). Today Travel Agents like Al Hashar Travels, Zeeyarah.com, flyazmeel.com etc rely on TPConnects Technologies. If you would like to know more about TPConnects Travel Agency Solutions please contact marketing@tpconnects.com or register to receive a complete document explaining ‘How our solution can assist you to INCREASE Revenue and Productivity’.

Travel Agents can now have their own digital assets (B2B, B2C, Mobile Apps and Corporate Booking Tool) with a minimal investment of USD 2000 set up fees plus per passenger booking fees. Those who would like to have a customized solution can opt for additional packages at additional cost. Using Go Online agents can add as many sub agents and corporates with individual mark up, apply tour codes or corporate codes, multi-currency, include and exclude airlines or hotels. The mobile apps will be on both iOS and Android.

You can download a DEMO of the middleware and B2B agent platform by visiting Our Website.

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