We’ve seen thousands of merchants – travel agents, travel startups, and startups looking to sell travel – sign up for our platform since we launched our unique self-serve Flights API this year, an easy way for anyone to start selling flights in just minutes.
Merchants tell us they love the simplicity of our API, our components like Seat Selection, and Duffel Content – our service that enables travel sellers to use our Flights API without the need for airline relationships and travel agent accreditation – but they wanted more choice in airlines. Even though we’ve continuously increased the speed at which we add airlines to our platform and doubled the size of our engineering team to reach the milestone of 30 airlines live this year, we wanted to add more even faster.
Today, we're announcing a strategic agreement with Travelport that gives our travel sellers access to Global Distribution System (GDS)-sourced content from many airlines that have not started their New Distribution Capability (NDC) or direct-connect journey yet. While NDC is – and will remain – foundational to our platform, bridging content this way helps us put the merchant experience at the forefront of our innovation. Merchants now get more choice and a consistent experience for all major airlines across the US, Canada, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand, regardless of the source.
As a champion for airlines adopting NDC, we invested heavily in direct connections this year, going live with easyJet, Qatar Airways, Qantas, Copa Airlines, Volaris, and Eurowings Discover – and have 20 more direct-connect integrations in the pipeline. Doubling down on this strategy, we welcomed travel industry veteran Simone Maillard last month as Vice President of Global Partnerships. Simone is a seasoned leader with over 15 years of experience developing content acquisition strategies while managing distribution and airline partnerships. She’ll continue to build on Duffel’s foundation of forging strong relationships with airlines and accelerating our partnership strategy.
It’s still the early days of Duffel, and the travel industry is still in the earliest days of recovering from the worst downturn ever. Whether you’re new to travel and wondering how you can make money selling flights, a developer looking for a new way to build travel, or an airline considering a new distribution journey – today is another small step in realising a bigger vision of making travel effortless. With the expanded airline coverage now available on Duffel, we’re continuing to lower the barriers to entry for new players starting to sell flights for the first time, something we believe is the bedrock for more innovation in the travel industry. We’re enduringly optimistic about the future of travel and excited about continuing to build this future with airlines, travel sellers, and startups reimagining a better way to travel.