Air Canada NDC program to add value for agents

A top AC executive confirmed to travelBulletin a lot of local research has been done to ensure a smooth transistion.

AIR Canada’s approach to NDC, which is scheduled for a fourth quarter rollout, will be “additive, not subtractive”, Executive Vice President Marketing & Digital Mark Nasr has reinforced.

On his first trip to Australia since the COVID-19 pandemic, Nasr told travelBulletin one of his key messages for the trade to understand is Air Canada’s attitude to NDC.

“What we’re looking to do is add additional content that will be available by NDC: promo codes, subscription flight passes, continuous and dynamic pricing in the future,” he said.

“We’re not interested in taking content away that we can send over the classic EDIFACT.”

Nasr emphasised Air Canada’s NDC program will offer agents choice on how they connect.

“They can connect directly to us, and there are some Australian agencies that are choosing to do that, they can go to a technology service provider, and do it there, and over the GDS.

“We’ve already announced our collaboration with Amadeus NDC-X, which is going to be available natively within Amadeus’ existing desktop flows, and existing agents’ APIs.”

Air Canada’s agency relationships are extremely important to the business, Nasr said, adding six months of research resulted in “fundamental changes” to its outlook on the topic of distribution.

“What we’re trying to do is focus on making that a smooth transition, because the agency relationships are so important to us.

“I would say thank you to the Aussie trade, for your support and know that we’re committed to the NDC transition being smooth.”

Although Air Canada has flagged 10 flights a week from Sydney and daily from Brisbane from December, the carrier said it has “no firm dates” for a return to Melbourne, which is being held up due to a lack of aircraft.

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