Sabre expands Beyond NDC program

United Airlines, BCD Travel, Finnair, American Express Travel & Lifestyle Services, Singapore Airlines and Corporate Travel Management join Sabre’s innovation initiative

As Sabre Corporation leads the industry evolution toward next-generation retailing, distribution and fulfillment, the company has expanded its Beyond NDC program by entering into strategic relationships with additional airlines and agencies including United Airlines, BCD Travel, Finnair, American Express Travel & Lifestyle Services, Singapore Airlines and Corporate Travel Management. Sabre has also been designated NDC-Certified Level 3 as an aggregator by IATA (International Air Transport Association), the organization that launched the New Distribution Capability (NDC) data transmission standard. This new certification is in addition to Sabre’s previously announced NDC Level 3 capability as an I.T. provider.

Beyond NDC is Sabre’s collaborative innovation initiative chartered to drive the industry forward through the development, integration and testing of end-to-end capabilities to process NDC-enabled offers and orders. Companies committed to the program are participating with Sabre in the solution design process, leveraging beta testing capabilities and establishing their global leadership position as drivers of NDC.

“IATA Level 3 certification is another key step in developing holistic NDC-enabled solutions and we’re proud of this achievement, but the real work is being done in close collaboration with our airline and agency partners,” said Kathy Morgan, Sabre vice president of NDC. “Together we will demonstrate a genuine capability to deliver end-to-end solutions at scale.”

In fact, the collaboration is already underway. Nearly 80 percent of all air shopping in Sabre Red Workspace, the next-generation travel agency platform, starts with schedule and availability queries. Together, United Airlines and Sabre are working on schedule- and availability-led shopping solutions that were presented to attendees of IATA’s NDC Implementation Forum earlier this month.

“The Beyond NDC program uniquely positions United and Sabre to deliver a win-win-win for the travel ecosystem,” said Tye Radcliffe, United’s director of Distribution. “Our agency-friendly approach to shopping is just one example of the work being done as we build upon the NDC standard and develop technology that shapes a traveler’s end-to-end journey from offer creation through fulfillment.”

“Business travelers today want and deserve an engaging shopping experience that lets them customize their preferences. Their employers demand not only the ability to search and shop multiple sites, but also access to robust, reliable and up-to-date data for cohesive itineraries, actionable reporting and duty of care,” said Thane Jackson, vice president, global distribution & channel strategy at BCD Travel. “Sabre’s Level 3 NDC certification is a very positive step towards achieving those important goals.”

“We are pleased to be part of the Sabre program, actively working with agencies and airlines to advance both the vision and reality of NDC,” said Kalle Immonen, head of distribution & revenue protection at Finnair. “We are excited about the ability for Finnair to distribute new retail offerings to a broader global audience in a highly attractive and efficient way. Collectively we will move toward higher scale of adoption and value for all involved.”

“Personalized service and customer choice have long been Singapore Airlines’ hallmarks,” said Campbell Wilson, senior vice president of sales and marketing, Singapore Airlines. “NDC accords us the opportunity to extend these values beyond our traditional touchpoints, so we are pleased to join Sabre’s Beyond NDC program to help develop practical, scalable solutions for the industry and to encourage broad adoption.”

“CTM are delighted to be at the forefront of all partner development and Sabre is a great global partner to us,” said Jamie Pherous, Corporate Travel Management (CTM) founder and managing director. “Our vision remains to offer the best content to our customer and remain as efficient for our teams to focus on service as possible.”

In yet another example of tangible progress, Sabre will host a Customer Advisory Board event in Dallas tomorrow, Sept. 18, bringing together dozens of airline and agency representatives for intense collaboration through Beyond NDC deep-dives, technical testing, customer workshops, and alignment on partnership opportunities at industry working groups.

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