First anniversary of Air Canada’s NDC: what’s new and what’s coming

One after the implementation of its NDC (new distribution capacity) program, the carrier is delighted with the progress made and continues to move forward.

Yesterday (June 17), Air Canada marked the first anniversary of its New Distribution Capacity (NDC) program by announcing the addition of additional features and benefits, as well as its expansion plans.

“Since its launch in June 2023, the NDC program has made great progress with travel industry professionals and business travel buyers, including modernizing the distribution of the airline’s products, offering new benefits, more content and comprehensive partner support,” explains the carrier.

“We are incredibly grateful for our partnership with independent local agencies and large corporate travel management companies who were, are and always will be essential to Air Canada’s business success,” says Mark Nasr, Executive Vice President – Marketing and Digital Solutions, and President of Aeroplan at Air Canada.

Air Canada’s commitments

“We were committed from the beginning to ensuring a smooth transition, with a focus on comprehensive content and uninterrupted capabilities through existing and new technologies, enabling industry professionals to connect with Air Canada in using the method they prefer,” continues Mark Nasr.

“We are also committed to working closely together throughout the transition process,” he adds. This approach to partnership is now paying off, and the travel agency and travel buyer community is actively shaping the future of Air Canada’s NDC program. »

A multitude of steps taken

Over the past twelve months, Air Canada’s NDC has achieved the following milestones:

  • the signing of three new distribution agreements by global distribution system, which integrate all support for the NDC;
  • the development of more than 25 new functions and capabilities based directly on agency feedback;
  • the implementation of NDC on eight technology platforms, including Amadeus;
  • bookings actively made by more than 600 agencies using Air Canada’s NDC;
  • holding over 100 partner meetings globally to communicate with the technology partner and agency community;
  • significantly increasing reach through NDC activation at points of sale in 20 countries, representing 96% of Air Canada’s global revenue, with plans to expand throughout the month;
  • more than 70% of all reservations made with Air Canada now use modern technologies.

A full range of benefits

Currently, the program offers a full range of products including discounted rates for the complementary seat selection service, access to promotional code offers and all base fares for all domestic flights.

It also offers enhanced self-service and post-booking service features, as well as expanded payment options and new partnerships with technology platform providers that expand its global reach.

In addition, Air Canada signed new agreements in 2023 in the field of global distribution systems (GDS) with Amadeus, Saber and Travelport. The Amadeus activation was a success last year, and more are expected to follow soon.

Constructive feedback from users

“We are delighted with the progress we have made with our valued partners,” said Lisa M. Pierce, Vice President – ​​Global Sales and Air Canada Vacations. Our early adopters have provided us with valuable feedback that is shaping our expansion plans and strengthening the program as we enter the second year of the transition. This momentum allows us to accelerate the next phase of growth for our partner community and shared customers. »

New functions and advances planned for 2024

Now that the first phase of the transition to a new, modernized distribution platform is complete, Air Canada has revealed some of the new features and advancements planned for 2024 and beyond:

  • Launch of the NDC for Saber : Access to Air Canada content and features through Saber will launch in the coming weeks, providing access to a working Air Canada NDC solution to the vast majority of its airline partners. travel industry.
  • Simplifying the distribution cost recovery process : Distribution cost recovery has been simplified and now only concerns tickets booked at the lowest rate for each cabin.
  • More generous repayment capacities : The airline will double the refund period for risk-free bookings from 24 to 48 hours for those made using NDC, providing increased flexibility for travel partners and customers. This function is currently being developed and will be available over the coming months.
  • Continuous pricing and availability : Continuous Availability is now enabled for all Air Canada NDC partners, providing them with improved access to the best fares. By the end of 2024, Air Canada will offer rolling pricing for improved and more dynamic fare products.
  • Special benefits for partner companies : NDC functionality provides more flexibility in ticketing for agency and corporate partners.

More new to come

Over the next twelve months, travel partners can expect new content and additional features from Air Canada, including the following:

  • support for customers affected by an operational disruption;
  • new functions for handling unintentional changes;
  • ability to apply unused tickets to future travel and other payment options for international markets.

Added to this is also cancellation without reason as well as content related to carbon offsetting, two functions whose deployment is planned for the beginning of 2025.

Priority to choice and support for buyers and travel professionals

Air Canada is committed to collaborating with and supporting our partners during the transition to the NDC as it is implemented industry-wide.

The airline continues to prioritize the choices and needs of its partners by offering four routes to NDC from dozens of technology solution providers.

Air Canada recognizes the diversity of its partner community and is also committed to making the adoption of the NDC accessible for all, by integrating additional tools and transparently revealing the progress made.

The airline finally offers dedicated commercial support for managed accounts as well as personalized support, in addition to organizing workshops for partners and maintaining an up-to-date multilingual information portal on the NDCwhile continuing to invest in additional support tools.




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