Caravelo Commercial Director Jonathan Newman offers insight into airlines that are technology innovators, and how carriers can better understand how to set up retailing platforms for maximum value and the benefits of NDC.
Jonathan NewmanI wouldn't necessarily say that they're slower. I think the airlines in Europe and also in Asia have had a much greater impetus to adopt new technology because there's been a much greater competitive position in those markets. The competitive landscape has got a lot bigger a lot quicker than it has here in the United States, where you've seen a lot of consolidation and which has meant you haven't had a real impetus and necessity to develop new technology.
There are airlines such as Finnair, as an example, that they're really starting to push the boundaries of utilization of technology and I think what they're doing ... and also airlines such as Air New Zealand in the South Pacific ... What they're doing is they're now starting to show to the big airlines in the United States and also across Europe that a lot more can be done.
I don't think anybody yet. Everybody at conferences like this and all the way around the world, are always talking about they want to be the Amazon of travel. That's fantastic, but airlines really have a much limited product proposition than Amazon, and always will do. What smart airlines are beginning to do is to understand that they're getting the platform for retaining right is as important as the product itself. Being part of a conversation, being able to retail over a longer period, rather than just shopfront and one or two EDMs is the right approach for airlines to actually start thinking about merchandising and then finding out what's really relevant for their customer base.
NDC is fantastic. NDC is a standard, but more importantly, what I ought to have done with NDC is they've said to the airline community, "You need to think about distributing your product better, smarter, and making it easier for people to get hold of the airline product and inventory."
For us, we're a small company, having a standard with which to work to, which means that we can easily scale integrations is fantastic. It means we can do smart things a lot quicker. It's allowed us to innovate together with airlines rather than having to go through long, boring processes of certification with existing PSS providers.
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