Sabre enlists travel industry giants as launch partners for its ‘Beyond NDC’ programme

As a leading technology provider to the global travel industry, Sabre Corporation was always going to be among the organisations at the forefront of the latest evolution of the travel space and it has secured some big guns to support its strategy to collaborate on the development of NDC-enabled solutions. American Airlines, American Express Global Business Travel, Carlson Wagonlit Travel and Flight Centre Travel Group have this week all committed to Sabre’s innovation initiative as launch partners.


Summary:

  • American Airlines, American Express Global Business Travel, Carlson Wagonlit Travel and Flight Centre Travel Group have this week all committed to Sabre’s ‘Beyond NDC’ programme;
  • Sabre Corporation says it has entered into strategic relationships with all of the travel industry giants and will announce additional participants throughout the remainder of this year and beyond;
  • Beyond NDC is a collaborative innovation initiative chartered to drive the industry forward through the development, integration and testing of end-to-end capabilities to process NDC-enabled offers and orders;
  • As part of their commitment, each of the four launch partners will participate with Sabre in the solution design process, leverage beta testing capabilities and establish their global leadership position as drivers of NDC.

Sabre aims to “lead the industry evolution” toward next-generation retailing, distribution and fulfilment and back in Oct-2017 its CEO Sean Menke had publicly outlined Sabre’s position on NDC and the company’s drive to lead an industry evolution. In May this year the company announced its roadmap to offer NDC-enabled solutions by the end of this year and this partnership shows it has secured traction within various sectors of the industry to deliver something new and goal to deliver next-generation retailing, distribution and fulfilment.

‘Beyond NDC’ is described as a collaborative innovation initiative chartered to drive the industry forward through the development, integration and testing of end-to-end capabilities to process NDC-enabled offers and orders. As part of their commitment to the programme, each of the four launch partners will participate with Sabre in the solution design process, leverage beta testing capabilities and establish their global leadership position as drivers of NDC.

“By partnering with the world’s largest airline and several of the world’s leading travel management companies, we will bring to market NDC-enabled solutions that go beyond shopping and booking to integrate with the retailing, distribution and fulfilment systems that support the travel ecosystem,” explains Dave Shirk, president of travel solutions at Sabre.

“Launching this program with such heavyweights illustrates that we are looking past the near-term goals of NDC to define the future of intelligent airline retailing at scale in both direct and indirect channels,” adds Mr Shirk. Sabre is already working to introduce additional organisations into ‘Beyond NDC’, confirming it will announce further participants throughout the remainder of this year and beyond.

As participants in the ‘Beyond NDC’ programme collaborate to architect end-to-end retailing capabilities, Sabre acknowledges technology must be designed to meet the needs of all participants in the travel ecosystem. Integration of content from multiple sources is not new for agency system providers; however, NDC-based solutions introduce a new level of benefits for travellers, and Sabre notes that partners in the ‘Beyond NDC’ programme will work together to ensure benefits are seamlessly delivered to the traveller.

As its name suggests ‘Beyond NDC’ is more than just a new technology platform and Sabre says its approach is to deliver an end-to-end retailing ecosystem and it is committed to bringing NDC-enabled solutions to market by the end of 2018.  “The NDC standard is one thing. Bringing it to life is our thing,” it explains.

In the fourth quarter Sabre will bring to market the industry’s first Digital Airline Commercial Platform, marking a major advancement in the capabilities airlines will have to seamlessly leverage data-driven insights to dynamically and intelligently market their services, fulfil across all channels, and deliver a personalised customer experience. More advanced capabilities will follow in 2019, including NDC-enabled offer and order management, enabling airlines to truly differentiate their offerings.

“NDC standards introduce tremendous opportunity for Sabre’s business, our customers and the industry overall – to the ultimate benefit of travellers as we model a new and differentiated travel experience,” outlines Kathy Morgan, vice president of strategic initiatives at Sabre. “To bring the promise of NDC to life, our capabilities will go beyond shopping and booking and will integrate with the retailing, distribution and fulfilment systems that support the travel ecosystem.”