Travel And Tour World: Dmitry Ianishevskyi is the director and co-founder of DRCT, a travel technology provider and IATA-certified NDC aggregator driven by a vision of creating a more equitable and competitive distribution market. Can you share with us about about DRCT and how it is working?
Dmitry Ianishevskyi: DRCT was founded in 2018 to simplify distribution for airlines, travel sellers and developers. After years in the travel tech industry, my co-founder, Viktor Nekrylov and I saw the headaches the technology behind distribution presented for both airlines and fare sellers, particularly with adapting to IATA’s New Distribution Capability (NDC). The earliest concept for DRCT began with questioning how we could leverage technology to make distribution easier for everyone. Four years later, we’re now a leading IATA-certified provider registered in the United States, with team members across Europe and 30 major airline partners worldwide.
Our primary focus is providing easy-to-use booking tools that deliver NDC content directly into the GDS page, making accessing NDC fares simple and convenient and empowering travel sellers to access a wider range of fares.
Travel And Tour World: How is DRCT is working for the adoption of New Distribution Capability (NDC) across the travel industry?
Dmitry Ianishevskyi: The hesitancy surrounding NDC adoption among travel sellers is understandable – it requires a complicated integration with little cost incentive to motivate OTAs and TMCs to incorporate it into their sales. DRCT’s mission is to equip sellers with the APIs to make NDC integration less daunting and show them how using NDC can provide access to all fares for an airline without having to pass through outdated intermediary systems. Our products allow any type of travel seller to benefit from the opportunities of NDC in a convenient and cost-effective way.
DRCT offers products for every type of travel seller including TMCs, OTAs, ticketing agencies and small sellers. For online agencies, DRCT enables access to NDC content from multiple airlines with an API. For those who work in a GDS, DRCT delivers NDC fares directly on the GDS page. An update to our booking platform will also be launched this year to make access to NDC content possible with even fewer clicks.
Travel And Tour World: In what way, you are approaching airline industry to take action, making access to NDC without additional expenses?
Dmitry Ianishevskyi: Our message to airlines is that they should look beyond their GDS for fare distribution and stop implementing new rules for old technology. Real cost-efficiency can only take place on a deeper level of change. Airlines should consider the costs their distribution strategies impose on travel sellers and find ways to incentivise NDC sales and simplify the flow of NDC integration. Expanding distribution partnerships with providers outside of GDS can help airlines reach a broader market.
Travel And Tour World: Is it a cost-effective service for the airline firms? How will the travel and tourism industry benefit?
Dmitry Ianishevskyi: Definitely. Airlines benefit from how convenient our technology is for travel sellers. At DRCT, once an airline integrates with us, we take over the IT and technical processes, including 24/7 support which helps ticket sellers to solve issues promptly at any time. Our goal is to help airlines to reduce costs on distribution and to unload airline support teams. In this way, we handle the non-core business of airlines (IT) so they can focus on flight operations.
Travel And Tour World: Can you please elaborately outline the key steps to enhance NDC sales?
Dmitry Ianishevskyi: To make NDC bring real value, we believe that airlines can enlist a targeted approach to their interactions with aggregators, sellers and their own internal process.
1. Reach as many aggregators as possible. This can be done by making API documentation and the flow of the certification process public, so aggregators can quickly start providing sellers with needed NDC content. Airlines should also prioritise developers — providing sandbox environments for testing, and efficient support to tackle issues with current products and learn from feedback. When it comes to aggregators, airlines should also introduce incentives so these companies clearly understand the return on their investment and avoid passing fees to sellers.
2. Switch on NDC for as many sellers as possible. Airlines can boost adoption by TMCs and OTA by making contract signings non-binding and the generation of credentials automatic, ensuring content can be sold without barriers. Providing exclusive fares via NDC, and cancelling incentives received via GDS ensures that travel firms that sell via NDC have the advantage.
3. Don’t get hung up on IT. By choosing the right IT partner, airlines can focus on their core business. The right inventory system offers reasonable prices, the ability to sell ancillaries, deliver rich content and use a continuous pricing model. All of which means you can focus your efforts on the passenger experience, starting from the moment a ticket is booked.