IATA working group spearheads modern airline retailing

A new IATA-developed working group of airlines will collaborate in an effort to speed the adoption of modern airline retailing.

The consortium is comprised of airlines and airline groups that have been earlier adopters of NDC, as well as IATA’s digital servicing and fulfillment standard called One Order. They include American Airlines, Air France-KLM, British Airways, Emirates, Finnair, Iberia, Lufthansa Group, Oman Air, Singapore Airlines and Xiamen Airlines.

The group’s formation is part of IATA’s long-term effort to encourage airlines to move expeditiously toward what it calls modern airline retailing. In a definition spelled out by the trade group Tuesday, IATA said modern retailing comprises three pillars: customer identification, retailing with offers and delivery with orders.

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Each of these three pillars involves digital transformation by airlines. On the customer identification front, IATA is encouraging airlines to move toward touchless processes driven by biometric recognition. Retailing with offers is IATA’s term for NDC-enabled merchandising of ancillary products and bundles and the advancement of NDC-enabled dynamic pricing and personalized offer capabilities.

Delivery with orders encompasses IATA’s One Order initiative, which seeks to streamline ticket delivery, servicing and settlements by replacing today’s passenger name records (PNRs), e-tickets and electronic miscellaneous documents (EMDs) with a single reference number.

IATA and members of the IATA Airline Retailing Consortium said the group’s goal is to expedite progress toward a simpler and more usable distribution framework.

“This mindset change in collaboration and synergy creation is new to our industry and it will pave the way for a much-needed technological leap leaving behind legacy systems,” said Swiss chief commercial officer Tamur Goudarzi Pour. Swiss is part of the Lufthansa Group.

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