Low-cost carrier Scoot CEO, Campbell Wilson has come to the defence of the NDC, the travel industry standard for the distribution and retailing of flight content.
During its slow implementation, there have been frequent negative comments by agents who feared the New Distribution Capability would lead to customer poaching.
“I don't even understand why we're still having this conversation as an industry,” he said during a session at WiT Experience 2021.
“All of the big airlines are fully on board, all of the big GDS are fully on board, all of the big TMCs and retail agencies are on board.
“It is simply a new communications protocol that delivers better content, and to the extent that it also democratises access to that content and increases competition, that's a good thing,” Wilson said.
He could not understand why the NDC was being held up as “this divisive tool”.
“It's just a new communications platform, just like going from the fax to the Internet.”
Wilson said he was not anti-travel trade but feels the gap between online and bricks and mortar agencies has widened during Covid-19 and will continue to widen because bricks and mortar agencies face the “inertia” of getting back to business after the pandemic.
“The pandemic has driven people to direct bookings, not just to airlines but online generally,” he said.
Wilson believes Scoot has a lot to look forward to, including the arrival of the first of its 236-passenger A321neo aircraft, which will be used on routes of up to six hours from Singapore.
“The downturn was the perfect time to prepare us for the future,” he said.
“We were able to change and improve a lot of things that make us more operationally robust, more efficient, and this will all pay off in the longer term.”