The strategy behind BCD Travel’s new distribution capability partnership with Lufthansa Group airlines is a nod to how far NDC has come and how far it still has to go, BCD’s Thane Jackson told Travel Weekly in a recent interview. Jackson, vice president of global distribution and channel strategy, offered insights about what the partnership means, why it’s happening now and what air distribution could look like in the future. Here’s an excerpt from the Q&A.
Why is the BCD-Lufthansa NDC partnership happening now?
“We’ve seen a beginning of maturity in what you might call NDC—only the beginning of it, because it still needs to be solved at scale, but we’re seeing the technical capabilities start to come out, to be better available,” Jackson told the industry news outlet.
What’s the big picture?
“NDC was created initially as an IATA [International Air Transport Association] airlines design to change the face of distribution, to have a more flexible approach, more of a resale model. But it has taken a long time for traction to really be gained in the marketplace, for the industry to recognize the high degree of collaboration that is needed. It’s now starting to take shape. We’re starting to see it beginning to come to life, and so it’s an industry-level problem. [BCD would] rather be part of that solution and helping it be shaped, because it’s going to touch a lot of our businesses,” Jackson said.
Why is BCD investing in NDC?
“If you don’t do it, then your relevance is going to diminish over time. We’re a customer-driven business. Airlines and other operators out there want to provide more choice, want to be able to, in effect, sell more, and our customers are asking for that. If you don’t move with the times, if you don’t look to further your value proposition and acquire the right content, your value will ultimately diminish.”