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Singapore Airlines is live on Duffel and open to the world!

Singapore Airlines is live on Duffel and open to the world!
Martine Olsen
Martine Olsen
7 January 2021

Duffel is excited to share that another major NDC carrier is available for all agents connecting to Duffel!

Many airlines have already made big steps in their commitment to pushing the industry towards the new improved New Distribution Capability (NDC) technology. The latest major global carrier to make a big statement, and the first APAC airline to introduce GDS fees, is Singapore Airlines (SQ).

Why NDC?

NDC enables airlines to improve the customer experience when buying through an agent, for instance, offering more ancillary products and displaying products using rich content. Are you curious? You can read more about what NDC is and the benefits for sellers in our “Why does NDC matter to my travel business?” post.

According to Singapore Airlines, the current technology is preventing the airline from supporting evolving operational needs and customer personalisation: NDC “provides faster and more reliable transmission of information” which is needed to meet customer’s increased expectations post-pandemic.

Airport lounges are one of many ancillaries airlines are making available for sale through NDC.

What is in it for me today?

To shift agents over to the new technology that will benefit the airline, seller and the end consumer, SQ is using different incentives. Their NDC program, KrisConnect, offers a wide range of exclusive value propositions not available on the traditional Global Distribution Systems [GDSs] today including:

  • More ancillary products with discounts (seats/bags etc.)
  • Exclusive fares and promotions
  • Unique bundles and special fare conditions

But the airline is not only using a better product offering and exclusive prices to drive the change. Following Lufthansa Group, British Airways and others, SQ is introducing distribution fees for agents not using NDC in several markets (Australia, Germany, Indonesia, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland and the United Kingdom). The fees will be in effect this month (January 2021) and will mean an additional USD12 for each sold ticket.

What can I expect from Singapore Airlines next?

Travel sellers’ adoption of NDC allows the airline to innovate more quickly without the limitations of the current technology infrastructure built in the pre-internet era. Singapore Airlines’ solid NDC program gives reason to believe that the current benefits are only the beginning of what sellers can expect from KrisConnect.

The NDC veteran, Lufthansa Group, is an example of a player that has raised the bar one step further. Late last year, they launched a new addition to their NDC program: continuous pricing. This new method of pricing, also called “dynamic pricing”, is breaking free from the 26 RBDs airlines are constrained by today. For the customer, this means no more awkward price jumps between fare families and in general even more competitive fares. Many airlines are pursuing NDC with the improved pricing functionality as a key driver.

The airline has openly shared they are considering introducing GDS fee across additional markets in the coming years. However, in usual SQ style, they give travel sellers time for setting up their NDC connections.

Overall SQ have made big leaps in 2020, by launching a program that is visibly trying to provide exclusive benefits for sellers that are supporting their mission to improve experience for their customers.

NDC enables airlines to provide agents the rich content available on their website including amenities, ticket conditions, aircraft type and even product images.

How do I get this exclusive content?

Sellers can choose to access Singapore Airlines NDC content by connecting directly to their API, using their AGENT 360 portal or working with an aggregator like Duffel that provides connections to multiple airlines.

With Duffel, sellers can quickly integrate and benefit from airlines’ NDC exclusives. Our API documentation is 100% public and getting access to the sandbox takes about 60 seconds, so sellers can immediately start experimenting.

Duffel isn’t limited to IATA agents. Since Duffel has IATAs across the globe, non-IATA agents can use us for ticketing. This allows new businesses to spend more time building their company and less time on tedious processes of accreditation.

Using an aggregator to gain access to NDC content is beneficial for sellers that sell a variety of airlines and that do not have the resources and time to connect to each airline individually. The best thing with choosing Duffel is that once a seller is connected, new airlines can be switched on in one click without having to do extra work. This means that sellers aren’t limited to having NDC content only from their top airlines - they can have it from all.

The global pandemic, as devastating as it has been, has forced the travel industry to stop, reassess and rejuvenate. As a result, across the globe developments of NDC programs are continuing ahead at full speed. This will not only benefit airlines and agents, but subsequently the consumers that will get a better experience and value offering overall.

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