Amadeus announced American Express Global Business Travel and Carlson Wagonlit Travel will pilot airline distribution in accordance with the International Air Transport Association's New Distribution Capability standard. The announcement came Wednesday, a day after competing distribution player Sabre announced its own NDC pilots with those two mega travel management companies.
Amex GBT and CWT have joined the Amadeus NCD-X program, an initiative that aligns NDC efforts between its global distribution system and Airline IT businesses.
Some travel agencies, especially megas, rely upon multiple distribution systems, depending on point of sale, client and other factors.
Amex GBT and CWT join other agencies and airlines working with the Spain-based global distribution and travel IT company to shape, develop and test NDC distribution and workflows ahead of a scaled, production-ready release.
Amadeus stated GBT "will use Amadeus' NDC-enabled solution to test and familiarize itself with the new NDC flow of 'shop, order, pay.' This will help GBT prepare to implement the industrialized version of the solution, which will include servicing capabilities, in 2019."
In a statement, Amex GBT EVP of global supplier relations Michael Qualantone noted, "By working with Amadeus, we already have access to a broad array of travel content. Now with NDC, we can offer even more to our clients. This content will be available through all points of sale, whether digital self-service or agent tools."
According to CWT SVP of global network and technology partners Vince Chirico, "We're pleased to be part of the NDC-X program and look forward to working with all our industry partners on making this a success. Partnering with the GDS is the fastest way to realize the potential of NDC, delivering enhanced choice for our corporate traveler customers and transforming the traveler experience."