Focus Summit+: Insights from the Panels

On the 4th of October, TPConnects had the privilege of participating in the Focus Summit+, an event where leading industry figures and experts congregated to deliberate on the latest trends and challenges in the world of travel and aviation. The summit offered a unique platform for dialogue and knowledge exchange, with two of TPConnects’ leaders. Eric Dumas, Chief Operating Officer (COO), and Namrata Balwani, Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), took the stage in separate panel discussions to provide valuable insights into the ongoing transformation of the airline industry.

Eric Dumas took part in a panel discussion on the topic, “Moving NDC Forward: An In-Depth Look at Industry Players’ Success and Learnings.” NDC, or New Distribution Capability, is a game-changer in the airline industry, reshaping the distribution of airfares and ancillary services to make them more efficient and personalized. During the discussion, Eric and his fellow panelists shed light on the journey of NDC, highlighting key learnings and challenges faced by the industry.

The conversation delved into the evolution of NDC over the past decade, examining the challenges it has encountered along the way. Nevertheless, the industry is now experiencing a positive surge in NDC adoption across various sectors. Some key takeaways from the panel discussion included:

  1. The rapid evolution of NDC, with numerous opportunities and challenges, especially as modern technologies and traveler profiles enter the market.
  2. The importance of collaboration between airlines, Global Distribution System (GDS) providers, travel sellers, and technology vendors to unlock the full potential of NDC adoption.
  3. Emphasizing that NDC is an evolution, not a revolution, and discussing how carriers can benefit from ATPCO data in an NDC world.

One highlight of the discussion was the readiness of NDC, with significant improvements in servicing thanks to the 21.3 schema. The ultimate recommendation was for airlines that have not yet embraced the NDC journey to start small, as it has become easy and straightforward to do so with the support of technology suppliers like TPConnects.

Namrata Balwani’s panel, on the other hand, focused on “Consumer Expectations Shaping the Future of Modern Airline Merchandising.” In a world where consumers are accustomed to rich content and detailed product information while shopping online, airline merchandising has room for improvement. Namrata emphasized the importance of meeting customer expectations when it comes to booking flights. She discussed modern airline retailing from the perspective of how our wider experience as digital commerce consumers has created a strong need for air merchandising innovation. A simple $10 Amazon purchase gives buyers an immense amount of product information. Consumers expect the same experience when booking an airline ticket worth hundreds or thousands of dollars. This includes enabling rich content to build differentiation, display fare brands and ancillaries, and create better upsell opportunities.Understanding the customer journey and having data that enables true dynamic personalization, backed by the right air content, is essential. Namrata highlighted the significance of visuals and attribute-based shopping in modern airline merchandising.

In conclusion, TPConnects’ participation in the Focus Summit+ was marked by valuable insights from Eric Dumas and Namrata Balwani. These discussions highlighted the ongoing transformation in the airline industry, driven by NDC adoption and the importance of meeting evolving consumer expectations through modern airline merchandising practices. The industry is indeed moving forward, with TPConnects at the forefront of this transformation, ready to embrace the future of travel and aviation.

If you want us to help you in your journey to modern airline retailing, reach us at [email protected]