Wednesday 6 February 2019

IF THIS IS ‘THE YEAR OF NDC’, WHY DO FEWER BUYERS THINK IT’S A GOOD THING?

  • New research from Business Travel Show shows a huge surge in the number of buyers who are still uninformed about NDC and a decrease in those who agree it’s a good thing
  • Business Travel Show, Olympia London, 20-21 February 2019, www.businesstravelshow.com

6th February: New research from the Business Travel Show has revealed a huge surge in the number of European buyers who still feel uninformed about NDC despite 2019 being such a pivotal year for the new platform.

The number of buyers who ‘don’t know’ whether new airline distribution strategies are a good thing has rocketed from 39 per cent to 59 per cent. And when asked ‘how has your opinion of NDC changed over the last 12 months?’ 41 per cent admitted they didn’t know enough about it to make an informed decision.

Additionally, just over one quarter (26 per cent) regard NDC as a ‘good thing’, compared to 35 per cent last year.

Are new airline distribution strategies a good thing?
  2018/19 2017/18
Strongly agree 9% 4%
Agree 17% 31%
Disagree

12%

23%
Strongly disagree 3%

5%

I don’t know 59% 39%

 

The impact on pricing may be one of the main drivers behind whether buyers regard NDC positively or negatively. When asked what impact they had seen from the introduction of new airline distributions, more than one quarter (27 per cent) said prices had increased as a result (18 per cent last year). 7 per cent switched carriers last year, up from 6 per cent in 2017, but one third remain oblivious to its impact, up from 22 per cent last year.

What impact have you seen from the introduction of NDC?
  2018/2019 2017/2018
More transparency with pricing

16%

18%

Our prices have increased 27%

18%

We have switched carriers 7% 6%
Our prices have decreased 5% 5%
None - our TMC looks after everything and keep us up-to-date

24%

29%

None of the above 5% 13%
I don’t know 33%

22%

WTMC CEO Sarosh Waghmar commented: “NDC will finally offer personalisation and pricing transparency. This will be one of the biggest outcomes for business travellers and travel managers that will lead to a better experience and savings.”

NetJets Europe travel supplier relations supervisor Helder Mendes, however, was not so convinced: “I’m still quite concerned about NDC. It’s too early in its lifespan to produce any visible results. However, if airlines are able to manipulate through NDC as they claim, corporate buyers may be able to purchase precisely what they need rather than purchasing what airlines have been pushing corporate accounts to purchase. Meaning, if my company needs air tickets at a decent rate, including pre-assigned seat, one piece of hold luggage, one carry on plus one personal item, fast track and semi flexible tickets, we may get precisely that instead of having to buy full flex or premium fares. But we are yet to see if this is what’s going to happen.”

Both Helder and Sarosh are taking part in a panel session at Business Travel Show on 20 February at 14:30 - 15:30 – NDC – Will travel buyers win or lose?

NDC sessions at Business Travel Show: 

NDC – WILL TRAVEL BUYERS WIN OR LOSE?

20 February at 14:30 - 15:30

Airlines have been making much noise recently about switching to selling through New Distribution Capability channels – but buyers are still undecided on the big questions. Is it making air travel dearer or cheaper? Is there more transparency or less? Come and hear the big arguments about what NDC means for your programme.

NDC – WHAT, WHY, HOW AND THE JOURNEY TO 2020

20 February at 16:00 - 17:00

This will be an interactive panel session led by Travelport's NDC Senior Program Director, Will Owen Hughes. Joined by other leading industry partners and travel agents, this panel session will explore the digitalization of the industry and the creation of commercial possibilities to build on NDC, how to make NDC work for all travel players all while improving the services provided to the end-traveller.

Full details of the conference programme and speaking sessions are available here. Free online visitor registration is open for Business Travel Show at http://www.businesstravelshow.com/visit/register

 

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