Singapore Airlines to offer NDC in Poland and region from summer 2021

Singapore will start NDC in the region from summer 2021. What are the benefits for the market? Can LOT learn something from the race leaders?

Another piece of good news from the area of ​​technological innovation in business travel. The Asian giant has just announced the implementation of the NDC standard in the countries of our region.

Singapore Airlines is the world vanguard in the NDC area

From the very beginning of work on the new booking standard, Singapore is among the leading aviation companies in this project. Therefore, it is worth looking more closely at the solutions it offers. Surely this could be a pattern for smaller lines. Which way should we go? The concept of the Agent 360 portal is particularly interesting. Which, apart from its role as a booking platform, is also to function as an information and educational portal. It seems that there is no better opportunity to build a platform for information exchange with agents and get your own communication tool independent of the 3rd party.

Presentation for agents from Poland and Central Europe

Yesterday, a virtual presentation of Singapore Airlines plans for our region took place. During the meeting, which lasted about an hour, the key information on the implementation of NDC in the markets was presented. Here are the most important of them.

Price differentiation in relation to the tariff model based on the traditional GDS should amount to about 2-3%. In addition, the airline plans to introduce a non-refundable fee of USD 12 per ticket / for those who stay with the GDS. Particularly important in market segments where frequent / free ticket returns (seafarers) take place.

The line offers 4 integration models, from GDS-based integration (Amadeus, Saber, Travelport) to direct integration, the one with integrators, to the Agent 360 portal. Each of them has its own advantages and disadvantages. Much depends on the scale of the business generated for the Asian airline.

The strongest form of integration, i.e. a direct connection to the SIA system, will be available only to strategic agents. Additionally, the costs of integration are entirely on the agency side.

Other key information

The airline plans to add additional ancillaries (additional services) along with the extension of the NDC services panel. For today, only additional paid seats and additional luggage are available in the system. The next in line is the paid Wifi service.

For our part of Europe, an important piece of information is that via NDC you can buy tickets in tariffs with partners who deliver passengers on SIA flights in Europe. These are mainly Lufthansa flights, and in Polish conditions, for example LOT on the route to Amsterdam. Note, it will not be possible to purchase additional services on the sections offered by other lines.

The NDC tool will also handle special rates, i.e. primarily corporate but also marine and student rates.

Unfortunately, there is no good information when it comes to serving groups. This is not yet planned via the NDC standard. You can see that the German Lufthansa was quite clearly ahead of the competition here.

Last but not least – all sales settlements via the NDC will continue to be carried out via the BSP system well known to agents. Regardless of the form of cooperation/integration they choose.

Agent 360 portal – also for non-iata agents

The already mentioned Agent 360 portal looks interesting. It will be both a sales, marketing and educational platform.

The ability to configure appropriate teams and individual agents / people under their permissions is impressive. This is similar to a travel policy setup. It will certainly be very popular.

The good news is also the opening of sales / integration for non-iata agents. Although technically this option is not ready yet, it is apparently a matter of the near future. In this way, SIA also gets the opportunity to contact sellers who so far were often available only via an agent with IATA authorizations.

Best Practice for LOT, it’s time to start doing something

We still do not have any information from the Polish carrier. On how far advanced its plans related to the implementation of NDC are. You can guess that it is rather far away in the forest. He builds savings on distribution using methods like “for the king of the stud”. A good example is an idea of ​​issuing group tickets for large tours of Rainbow and Itaka by own ticketing forces. So as to bypass the higher costs of agent booking systems.

It is not surprising that there has been no progress in the NDC area. LOT has lost many employees in the system areas over the last few years. Most of them left for Amadeus and its related companies. In 2020, the long-term Director of Revenue, who was well versed in system matters, said goodbye. Such gaps will be difficult to eliminate.

LOT should closely observe the agency portals created during the implementation of NDC. There is real potential to build communication and education platforms here. In conjunction with the loyalty program for agents – Kolekcjoner. You can build a really strong B2T tool.

Another presentation of NDC SIA on January 28

If we did not manage to participate in the SIA presentation, we will have another chance, another edition in just a week. The airline also promised to provide a recording of the session that took place yesterday. Just like the Power Point presentation itself.

Naturally, it also encourages you to contact the local representative, which in the Polish reality is the Gieret company.