American Express GBT has begun customer pilots and rollouts for NDC bookings for Air France and KLM NDC content across Neo and Egencia.
The new content will be enabled through Amadeus.
Speaking at this week’s ITM Conference in Brighton, Amex GBT President Drew Crawley said it had worked closely with the airlines and the GDS to develop the content.
He said while NDC works well for leisure travellers, it’s still “not quite developed and fine tuned enough” for business travel, when corporates – not the travellers – are paying the bill.
He said with around 80 different airlines now offering some level of NDC capability, the content needs to be standardised but isn’t.
“It’s all slightly different and needs to be ingested on an airline by airline, GDS by GDS and country by country basis,” he said.
In response, Amex GBT has developed a Minimum Marketable Product (MMP) standard – a list of requirements for NDC content distribution within the corporate travel ecosystem.
Carriers will be piloted based on their MMP capability progress, then launched at scale across Amex GBT customers.
Crawley said the standard would be shared with the wider industry in a bid to prevent NDC potentially leading to “pandemonium”.
He urged corporates to question the value of NDC content to their businesses.
“We know there is a value for the airlines but they aren’t doing it to make less money, they’re doing it to make more money, and let’s face it they need money,” he told conference delegates.
“Costs for airlines are going up in a very uncomfortable manner. The fares are going up but the profitability of airlines isn’t. Everyone is going to have to pay more for air fares. Let’s be respectful of that.”
The Neo pilots for Air France and KLM will be activated in France and the Netherlands. Egencia will enable NDC connectivity for France.
John Bukowski, Amex GBT’s VP of Content Acquisition and Strategic Sourcing, added: “We have been working hard with Air France-KLM and Amadeus to deliver a robust, scalable solution to bring NDC offerings into our marketplace.
“Going forward, we hope this can be an example of how good partnerships and the MMP standard can help move the needle on modernising air distribution for the entire ecosystem.”