Travelport NDC on track

TRAVELPORT CEO Gordon Wilson has revealed that the technology company is on track to launch its first production version of IATA’s New Distribution Capability (NDC) API this quarter. Speaking at a conference in Atlanta, USA last month, Wilson said indirect channels were continuing to embrace NDC, but warned that different interpretations among airlines of the NDC API were pushing up costs and implementation times when compared to the “proclaimed standards”.

Wilson also highlighted key technologies which are continuing to shape the future of the travel industry, including mobile, which is expected to comprise about 70% of transactions processed by Travelport in the next few years. As an example, he cited a new ‘Look & Book’ app function pioneered by Travelport in conjunction with European low-cost carrier Easyjet, which connects Instagram images to the airline’s booking tool.

Other trends include artificial intelligence, which Travelport is using to reduce the number of requests sent to airlines for seat inventory, by “learning and predicting the rate of decay” in inventory counts. Wilson said this could eventually lead to a reduction of up to 80% in messaging to airline systems, leading to lower costs and speed improvements. He also predicted that 70% of mobile transactions would be “untouched by human beings” in the future, with robotic management set to handle a significant proportion of voice traffic currently generated to travel agencies today. Wilson said this would free travel agents to focus on more “value-add” activities for their clients.