How OTAs can Integrate Post-COVID Airline Policy Changes and New Flight API Schemas with TravelCarma TDX
Post-COVID Challenges for OTAs with Air APIs
The airline industry is likely to undergo drastic changes post-COVID, which will impact both airlines and OTAs. Country specific quarantine, airline policy changes, seating allocations etc. are some of the challenges that OTAs will have to work with. In addition, after a prolonged period of hiatus in business Travel companies are most likely to focus on maximizing revenue and thus change to whichever supplier can provide the best net rates/lowest commission.
We have looked into some of the likely scenarios related to Airline API and seating policy changes. The same might hold true for hotels and other businesses but here we will discuss Airlines.
Managing Different Schemas and their Integration
If an OTA wants to add suppliers, they normally would need to build new connectors from scratch for each supplier. This can take several weeks/months of development depending on the architecture. Even upgrading to the latest version of the API would take time. Then again, the new schemas have to be integrated in the booking solution if the OTA is not using some kind of integration platform with common API as an output.
What if the OTA’s booking platform is built as per a particular supplier services and schemas, say Galileo or Amadeus? What will happen if they want to integrate Sabre? Or change another GDS to Sabre? They would need to make changes to their booking platform to make it compatible with Sabre schema. That’s more development time and cost.
For OTAs connected to multiple flight suppliers via APIs, managing multiple API schemas is going to get even more problematic. Each GDS has its own schema. So do LCCs. If the OTA is connected to NDC airlines, they have their own NDC-compatible schema that’s distinct from GDSs or LCCs.
Now in the post COVID period there is going to be churn in the way Airlines manage their distribution costs and change their distribution GDS or even go the NDC way. The OTAs too will look at maximizing the revenue and would want to the lowest cost supplier (GDS, NDC, LCC).
This would mean changing suppliers or adding new supplier. As mentioned above this would require changes in the OTA platform. This is one of the main reasons why OTAs don’t make supplier changes to their system.
Again, when things go back to normal and they want to change their supplier(s) again they will want to change the booking platform’s code.
Integrating Policy Changes
What about policy filters or business rules? They’re likely to be tightly bound to the OTAs existing booking platform. Policies and rules in the airline industry keep changing, even more so during pandemics. For the first few months post COVID, passengers are likely to avoid booking middle seats. Many airlines have already blocked them.
So, if the OTA wants to filter out middle seats, they will need to change their booking platform’s code, which means more work and longer implementation time. Once things go back to normal, they’ll have to change the code again. There could be many such cases, all which involve high costs and put a big strain on their already tight finances.
How TravelCarma TDX can help OTAs integrate post-COVID changes quickly and cost effectively
TDX is a cloud-based integration and aggregation platform that allows OTAs to integrate and aggregate multiple suppliers into a common API which can mimic the structure and schema of the API used by their booking engine. Thus, using TDX, OTAs can integrate or change any API they need to as per the needs of their business without making any change to their booking code, regardless of the schema or version of the API.
TDX is an intermediate component which sits on the cloud or private cloud or server between the existing booking application and the APIs called. The booking platform will invoke the GDS API via TDX thus giving it the flexibility and scalability needed without making changes. With TDX OTAs can add a new supplier in less than a week, rather than spending months on building connections and modifying your UI/UX.
Our flight adapters can help OTAs transform the schema provided by different suppliers into a unified schema or GDS Schema of their choice, one that their booking platform can understand. The adapters are also available as standalone solutions which can be accessed as an API.
One of the biggest advantages of our solution is that OTAs can add/modify policy filters without having to make changes in their booking engine. The OTA can apply common policy filters across all the feeds as well as supplier-specific filters through our adapters.
- Lower development and maintenance cost
- Go live with any new supplier integration in just a week – be it GDS or LCC
- Easily add/update filtering rules without making changes to your existing booking platform – e.g., filter out middle seats
- Turn on/turn off feeds for revenue management
- Aggregated output can be distributed to and consumed by all web and mobile booking platforms, providing scalability and opening up multiple sales channels
- Cloud ready – Current platform is hosted on AWS but can be hosted on any cloud or private clouds
- Ability to build own adapters using our SDKs. This reduces the dependencies for development
- Optimize revenue making changes in supplier as changes no longer need major changes in Booking and management solution
Interested to know to more about TDX and its applications for your business? Get in touch with us today:CONTACT US