In 2013, when I was drafting the potential adoption curve for NDC, one advisor suggested to me that the last adopter (laggard) may be American Express Global Business Travel. Earlier this month, Amex GBT have released their framework (called MMP ????) to bring NDC content to their customers. Can we say that we’ve completed the full curve of adoption of innovation?
The MMP describes 162 requirements that airlines and tech providers need to fulfil when offering NDC content to Amex GBT.
???? Is this good news? Yes. Since 2017 IATA engaged TMCs for the definition of such requirements to make NDC available for corporate travel.
???? Should the MMP be called an “industry standard”? Well, AmEx GBT call themselves the “world’s leading B2B travel platform” (although not leading on NDC). What really matters is to ensure NDC adoption in the corporate travel world.
???? Are the MMP requirements relevant? Hmmm… It is a first version that needs to be refined ???? “Flight number is displayed in the flight results” sounds reasonable. “Identify the operating airline in the search results” sounds fair too. Who could argue with that? However “RBD associated to each flight option to be returned” depends if the content comes from an airline using RBD (they will disappear in a continuous pricing world). “Add passive segments to a reservation that contains NDC” will not exist anymore. “Add a free seat without contracting the airline” does not happen in an NDC world.
We’re not at the end of the curve yet. What’s next? It’s good to see Amex GBT joining the airline modernization effort. I will watch the next iterations of the MMP.