Finnair is planning to offer differentiated content to travel agencies that join its NDC Partner Program.
Within the program, agents will have a number of ways to access content such as building a direct connect with Finnair via an NDC API or using aggregation platforms that use the NDC technology standard.
The carrier is also developing a Finnair Light Agency Platform, to be launched in 2020 and aimed at smaller travel agencies.
Finnair has partnered with Global Distribution System to implement NDC connections to the airline.
According to a statement, it will allow agencies that have signed up to the program early access to differentiated content via the GDS developed connections.
Rogier van Enk, VP digital revenue & distribution, Finnair, says: “There is a strong momentum towards these new solutions, and 2019 will be a critical year for us as we push for a long-term simplification of distribution through NDC, ONE Order, and various other initiatives.”
He adds that the airline doesn’t see levying a surcharge as the best way forward when it comes to encouraging NDC adoption.
However, the "best indirect content" will only be made available via the NDC Partner Program.
Van Enk says: “In the short-term, you will see new non-refundable fares and higher frequent flyer point earn in our direct and NDC channels. In the long-term, I foresee us following the hotel industry in that soft benefits such as wifi will be included for free in direct and/or NDC fares.”
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Lufthansa was the first airline to move to a surcharge for GDS channels in September 2015 followed by British Airways and sister carrier Iberia in November 2017 and Air France/KLM in last year.
By contrast, American Airlines announced in mid 2017 that it would pay agents $2 per segment processed through an NDC channel.
Qantas has hinted at fees down the road for those not signing up to its new channel.
The Finnair NDC content will be available in Finland, Germany, Norway, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland and the U.K.
Agents need to sign up to the program by the end of July to be able to access the content from 1 October.
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