Business travel giants talk up NDC prowess after sealing direct connect deals

Hogg Robinson Group and Concur claim they are spearheading the spread of IATA’s New Distribution Capability standards into business travel.

A connection with British Airways for its content using the standard is on the cards for HRG, as part of what it says is moving the business to take notice of the “change in travel distribution several years ago”.

HRG says it has been exploring how to use so-called “direct-connects” as a new method of connecting with airlines since 2011, two years ahead of NDC’s official launch to the market.

Concur has also this week begun adding BA and Lufthansa content into its travel platform, allowing users to choose what system they book flights (GDS or NDC).

The integration is expected to be made fully available to users later in 2017.

Concur chief revenue officer, Scott Torrey, says:

“Concur’s goal is to support our customers’ managed travel programmes by providing compliant content wherever their travellers book, may it be through NDC, GDS branded fares or through the airlines direct channels via TripLink.”

HRG claims it is the first major TMC “to be involved at the heart of developments” with the changes taking place around distribution.

The company signed a deal with Lufthansa (following the GDS surcharge saga that was imposed in the summer of 2015) in March 2016 to integrate directly with the carrier using NDC-based protocols, by-passing the GDS.

It adds:

“HRG’s technology capability means it is ideally placed to integrate and connect with British Airways systems.

“In addition to technical development, teams will be working jointly with mutual clients over the coming months to discuss and explore how the new distribution channel will deliver increased benefits to the client and their travellers.”

NB: British Airways image Pixabay.

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