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- NDC booking capabilities to be extended gradually to agencies across Australia and New Zealand from April
Melbourne, Australia, 19 March 2021: Worldwide travel retail platform Travelport has started the roll out of bookings on Qantas using IATA’s New Distribution Capability (NDC) – the very first such trips enabled by a global distribution system (GDS). The milestone comes ahead of NDC booking capabilities being extended gradually to agencies across Australia and New Zealand from April.
Early adopters ATPI and Maxim’s Travel, using Travelport’s leading-edge technology, issued the first Qantas NDC tickets via Smartpoint, Travelport’s agency desktop solution. The first passenger to fly via an NDC booking traveled from Sydney to Melbourne on 18 March.
With both Smartpoint and Travelport’s API connection now capable of booking Qantas’ NDC content, this successful step marks one of the final milestones in Travelport’s partnership with Qantas to launch its NDC-enabled Qantas Distribution Platform for agents. Starting from April, Travelport-connected agents in Australia and New Zealand who have signed up to the Qantas Channel will gradually be able to make NDC bookings using Smartpoint or Travelport’s API, with key servicing functions including refunds, automated exchanges, and schedule changes, now fully supported in Smartpoint.
“Passengers actually traveling on journeys created via NDC are the best testament to the rigorous efforts that Qantas, Travelport, ATPI, Maxim’s Travel and all our test agencies have invested in successfully enabling modern travel retailing,” said Kyle Moore, Head of Customer Strategy at Travelport. “Sharpening our customers’ competitive edge by giving them access to unique and personalized content – exactly as we are doing today with Qantas – is a key part of Travelport’s next generation platform being the best travel retailing platform available in the marketplace.”
“Despite the significant impact of COVID on airlines globally, Qantas remains committed to progressing our NDC program with our key partners like Travelport,” said Igor Kwiatkowski, Qantas Executive Manager, Global Sales & Distribution. “We’ve launched a number of new features in recent months, including special price offers for our Frequent Flyers and the ability for agents to help their customers purchase carbon offsets. These benefits are all designed to deliver richer content and a better experience for our customers and agency partners.”
ATPI International Board Director Peter Muller commented, “ATPI is excited to be at the forefront of delivering NDC content in Australia in partnership with Travelport, with the first flown NDC booking. As a developer of travel technology ourselves, our focus is always on providing the best fares and leading technology products. We fully embrace the new distribution age and the benefits that value, choice and flexibility offer our valued clients.”
NDC bookings made through the Qantas Distribution Platform will empower agencies to deliver more enriched and personalized experiences for travelers. Travelport was the first GDS to make an NDC connection to Qantas and has since worked with the carrier and a number of agencies to progressively integrate NDC content into the agent workflow for Travelport desktop and API customers.
NDC is a critical part of Travelport’s multisource content strategy. This latest milestone builds on Travelport’s momentum in leading the introduction of NDC capabilities for the industry. Travelport was the first GDS to make a live NDC booking in October 2018 and is already connected to several airlines’ NDC content.