Qatar Airways, one of the first airlines to embrace NDC, is working on a "plan B" according to its CEO Akbar Al-Baker.
As the keynote speaker at IATA's WPS 2015, Al-Baker went off message when he was asked about NDC.
"I think it is going to happen, but if the GDSs - Travelport, Sabre, Amadeus and others - put sticks in the wheel we need to be ready. We will have to develop something state of the art ourselves and we are working on it."
Amadeus and Sabre were not the only sponsors of IATA WPS 2015 to get short shrift from Al-Baker. When asked about in-flight entertainment, he said that Qatar was moving towards a system where it would put wifi on board and allow passengers to watch content on their own device. (Panasonic is a sponsor of the event.)
"Traditional IFE systems are heavy, not reliable and suffer from excessive costs from the manufacturers. And there are only really two suppliers - Panasonic and Thales.
In my opinion, people will bring smart devices and get content via the internet. Qatar will continue to provide access to exclusive content but this is a better option than an expensive IFE system."
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