JEDDAH: Saudi Arabian Airlines (SAUDIA), the national flag carrier of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, is the first airline in the Middle East and Africa Region to receive the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Level 4 New Distribution Capability (NDC) certification.
The ‘New Distribution Capability’ is a functionality used by the travel trade for booking air travel for individual and group bookings. It enables travel professionals to access content such images of the inflight cabin; add ancillary products, such as WiFi packages, excess baggage, and more.
SAUDIA has deployed the Offer and IATA One Order Certified Order Management Solution from the vendor TPConnects, along with NDC enabled distribution to Travel Agents and Online Travel Agents.
TPConnects OfrMS is integrated on top of the assets (Passenger Service System, Frequent Flyer Programme etc) as part of SAUDIA’s strategy in pushing offers including air and non-air ancillaries along with flights, both bundle and a la carte.
SAUDIA Vice President, Sales, Mr. Richard Nuttall commented on the recent certification:
“Level 4 is the highest NDC certification that includes adoption of additional servicing messages to support reshopping and changing orders. The airline provides the ability to execute Offer and Order Management, which means that Travel Agents integrated with SAUDIA are directly able to easily access the products that are available on the airline’s website, thereby providing a consistent shopping experience for the guests from the travel trade, similarly to the way guests book on the saudia.com website.
Continued Mr. Nuttall: “With the support from a number of aggregators and travel agencies, the NDC initiative at SAUDIA is on a path from the early days of experimentation to presently operating full-scale in full force. We are targeting significant transaction volume via NDC connections in the coming months, both from Travel Agencies and Online Travel Agents.”
Embracing SAUDIA NDC certified solution by Travel Agents provides access to broader airline inventory, including seats, air and non-air ancillaries, bundles and a la carte, with varied rate tiers and packages along with Rich Media.
IATA Accredited Travel Agents and Non-IATA Travel Agents are offered access through either an Airline Agent Platform or through API, if the agents have their own booking engine.
SAUDIA NDC Direct Connect is also available through TPConnects NDC Certified Travel Aggregator Platform along with other airlines through the traditional connectivity.
IATA accredited Travel Agents will be able to transact the same way using IATA BSP or ARC and NDC transactions will be issued on SAUDIA documents. Non-IATA travel agents have to contact the respective SAUDIA sales offices to obtain access to the NDC direct connect solution.
Online Travel Agents and Meta search engines will be provided with NDC Application Programming Interface (APIs) to access SAUDIA complete Offers and Order management including after sales service.