Sabre’s Beyond NDC program enlists travel industry giants to collaborate on development of NDC-enabled solutions

American Airlines, American Express Global Business Travel, Carlson Wagonlit Travel and Flight Centre Travel Group commit to Sabre’s innovation initiative as launch partners.

Further demonstrating its full commitment to lead the industry evolution toward next-generation retailing, distribution and fulfillment, Sabre Corporation (NASDAQ: SABR) has entered into strategic relationships with travel industry giants American Airlines, American Express Global Business Travel, Carlson Wagonlit Travel and Flight Centre Travel Group to join its Beyond NDC program as launch partners.

Beyond NDC is a 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. As part of their commitment to the program, each of the four launch partners will participate with Sabre in the solution design process, leverage beta testing capabilities and establish their global leadership position as drivers of NDC. Sabre will announce additional participants in the Beyond NDC program throughout the remainder of this year and beyond.

“By partnering with the world’s largest airline and several of the world’s leading travel management companies, we will bring to market NDC-enabled solutions that go beyond shopping and booking to integrate with the retailing, distribution and fulfillment systems that support the travel ecosystem,” said Dave Shirk, Sabre president of Travel Solutions. “Launching this program with such heavyweights illustrates that we are looking past the near-term goals of NDC to define the future of intelligent airline retailing at scale in both direct and indirect channels.”

As participants in the Beyond NDC program collaborate to architect end-to-end retailing capabilities, technology must be designed to meet the needs of all participants in the travel ecosystem. Integration of content from multiple sources is not new for agency system providers; however, NDC-based solutions introduce a new level of benefits for travelers, and partners in the Beyond NDC program will work together to ensure benefits are seamlessly delivered to the traveler.

“We’re committed to partnering with Sabre and other travel industry leaders to bring NDC benefits to our customers,” said Alison Taylor, senior vice president of Global Sales and Distribution at American Airlines. “Together we will develop capabilities that deliver an improved and personalized traveler experience.”

In October 2017 CEO Sean Menke publicly outlined Sabre’s position on NDC and the company’s drive to lead an industry evolution, and in May the company announced its roadmap to offer NDC-enabled solutions by the end of this year.

“This partnership reflects our commitment to drive industry progress by collaboration throughout the travel ecosystem,” said Mike Qualantone, American Express Global Business Travel executive vice president of Global Supplier Relations. “As the industry evolves, we will continue to work with Sabre and other partners to drive value for our clients by delivering scalable solutions that provide cost-efficient access to content and improve upon servicing capabilities.”

Added Vince Chirico, senior vice president Global Network & Technology Partners at Carlson Wagonlit Travel: “We’re pleased to be part of this NDC pilot program and look forward to working with our industry partners to help shape the future of business travel. Bringing NDC to the market together with the GDSs brings speed to market and the potential to transform the traveler experience through enhanced choice for our corporate traveler customers.”

“We’re very excited to be embarking on this program with our technology partners at Sabre,” said Greg Parker, the head of the Flight Centre Travel Group’s air business. “Having had the opportunity to collaborate on the development of the new Sabre Red Workspace, which has just been deployed in our Australia and New Zealand businesses, we feel very confident in Sabre’s ability to deliver an innovative solution at scale. This collaboration will help deliver exciting, next generation solutions and drive consistency in the end-to-end process. Enhanced workflows that are consistent across travel suppliers are vitally important, as are the services for agencies including integration points throughout mid- and back-office processes. We look forward to working with all of our preferred partners throughout the value chain on how we can leverage connectivity to drive additional retailing capabilities.”

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