WILLEMSTAD- Curacao-based InselAir has become one of the first airlines in the world to actively begin the process of moving into the future of the airline industry by transitioning to the next generation of airline systems provided by Dublin-based JR Technologies. The New Distribution Capabilities (NDC) initiative from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) began in 2012 when IATA member airlines unanimously approved Resolution 787, setting forth the process of modernizing the airline industry by replacing the technical standards of core airline systems that have been in place since the 1960’s.
“What we achieve in being able to move toward the IATA NDC business models through JR Technologies’ complete NDC solution will greatly impact not only our airline, but the entire industry, by using modern technology to simplify business processes that have been required by airlines for 50 years and by being able to see our customers as customers, not simply as a passenger on an airplane,” says Lars de Brabander, President of InselAir. “Not only has technology been completely reinvented several times in the half-century since the current airline standards come into being, but today’s customer is not the same as yesterday’s customer. Our customers today expect and deserve to be treated as individuals throughout the entire travel experience, from sale to flight, from door to door, which just is not possible with the required processes of the legacy systems.” IATA has set an industry goal of having twenty percent of all global airline sales through NDC by 2020.
George Khairallah, CEO of JR Technologies, agrees. “In 2010, when IATA and the entire airline industry moved to electronic tickets and removed all paper ticketing from the process, it was a move in the right direction. However, the industry still maintained all the business processes, and the limitations of paper, as if the paper tickets were still there. Resolution 787 was a statement by the industry in one unified voice that recognized change was needed. NDC has a positive effect on the customer. It allows an airline to offer a completely customized travel experience. By simplifying the business processes needed to serve the customer, NDC airlines can become more efficient and automated, which significantly reduces overall costs.”
Both InselAir and JR Technologies have been deeply involved in the creation of the new airline standards though participation in IATA. “Our participation within the IATA standards creation has allowed us to use the InselAir-sponsored pilot over the past three years to verify that the industry was on the right track and to make suggestions for changes and improvement to the benefit of everyone,” says Khairallah.
De Brabander, who has been involved in the company since 2017 and was recently appointed to lead InselAir, has been impressed with the role that the small Caribbean airline has had in the global initiative. “Within the IATA organization, all airlines have an equal vote, so the size of the airline does not matter, just the participation. InselAir’s position within the top levels of IATA, such being elected to the Passenger Services Conference Steering Committee as the Area 1 delegate since 2015, representing all IATA airlines in the western hemisphere with the exception of the US and Canada, as well as participating in and chairing several groups and committees, means that InselAir’s opinion is heard on behalf of all smaller airlines to create industry solutions and practices that benefit everyone, not just the major carriers. This ability to influence our regulated industry is one of the many reasons we became an IATA member airline.”
JR Technologies’ NDC platform has been powering InselAir’s internet bookings since September 2018 and has proven that the technology of tomorrow works. Over the coming weeks, more advanced functionality will be added to both the core NDC system, as well as the internet portal. De Brabander explains, “NDC offers the possibility of a major product transformation for our passengers, not only through our website, but also through any sales point that connects to the NDC system, including travel agencies and other travel services providers. The biggest benefit of NDC is that it allows customers to have the exact same level of options and customization that will be available on our website (fly-inselair.com) through any channel that they prefer to book through, including their travel agent once the agent is also connected to NDC. This is the future of air travel and we are excited that InselAir is one of the first to be capable of this! The JR Technologies solutions allow us to be flexible and responsive to our customers’ needs and wants for their travel experience, including products and services not directly related to their air travel, which will come through our recently announced ‘Customer Choice’ initiative.”