The growth of low-cost carriers and downward pressure on airline ticket pricing are affecting the new technology landscape in the airline industry, Sean Menke, president and CEO of Southlake-based Sabre Corp. told a group of industry senior executives this week.
Menke said the development of the International Air Transport Association’s New Distribution Capability is the first step in a series of changes that will affect how airlines market their services, and how travel agencies sell those services to consumers.
NDC is an industry-supported program for the development and market adoption of a new, XML-based data transmission standard.
XML allows users to define their own customized markup languages, especially to display documents on the internet.
Menke made the remarks at The Beat Live, the annual gathering of travel industry executives who represent airlines, hotels, and travel management companies, that was held Oct. 2-4 in Frisco.
“The conversations we have today with airlines and agencies are very different from our discussions even a few years ago.”
Among the changes that will be need to be addressed, are airline revenue management, ticketing fulfillment and servicing, as well as other back-office functions that travel agencies provide in support of airlines, Menke said in a Sabre news release.
“Sabre has a history of bringing together the interests of travel suppliers and travel retailers and finding ways for technology to move the industry forward,” Menke said. “The conversations we have today with airlines and agencies are very different from our discussions even a few years ago.”
He said that “forward-thinking people are focused on driving value creation for airlines and agencies alike. That’s how we will make NDC work.”
Menke said that in the coming months, Sabre will be examining how it will bring the new technology to market.
“We have no intention of giving up the technology leadership role we have played historically,” he said.
Menke said Sabre remains committed to NDC standards, which he said focus on a new level of technology standards to help airlines offer more customized products and services to the market.
Sabre Corp., a technology provider for the travel industry, is currently Level 1 compliant with NDC standards, with plans to become Level 2 and Level 3 compliant in 2018.
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