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Director's vlog series: At the epicenter of airline pricing — Distribution and Darie Dreptate

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Darie Dreptate, ATPCO’s new Director of Distribution, shares how distribution is at the epicenter of airline pricing data

Welcome to another entry in our director's vlog series, where we interview some of the top people at ATPCO for insights and their unique perspective on industry challenges.

Meet Darie Dreptate, an industry newcomer, who in his short three months with ATPCO has been leading the change within the Distribution product portfolio. Darie joined ATPCO’s leadership team in May to focus on APIs and fare data to drive innovation across distribution using a lean transformation approach that leverages his extensive expertise in this area. Darie has more than 15 years of experience leading Lean, Agile, and DevOps practices for multiple companies and industries and brings fresh perspective to ATPCO and the airline industry. 





Hi, and welcome back to another episode of the director's vlog series. I'm Julie Yi and today we have our new director of Distribution, Darie Dreptate. Hi, Darie! How are you today? 

Hi, Julie. Good. Thanks for having me. 

Can you give us a brief introduction of your past experiences and what your role is at ATPCO? 

Sure. So actually, interestingly enough, I'm coming to ATPCO with no airline experience whatsoever. That's been an interesting experience, in order to join a brand-new industry and an exciting one. I also have a lot of experience in analytics, data processing, machine learning, and all of that is also a very interesting area for ATPCO. I feel like, even though there's no airline experience here, I bring a lot of other things to the table that are available for the company. 

With no prior airline background, what brought you to ATPCO? 

When I learned that ATPCO was going through this lean transformation, that was very exciting for me, and I'm a big fan of those types of challenges. And also, during my first conversations at ATPCO I learned very quickly that the leadership team was very humble, and they really, all of them, realized that there's more than what we know, and in order to do a successful transformation, we need to bring knowledge and talent from outside the company. For me, that was a big thing. 

And also, coming outside of the airline industry but being an avid traveler, it was very exciting to see that there's an opportunity to sit literally at the epicenter of this industry, and having this data set literally manipulating virtually all airline prices daily—it's, it's just something very interesting. 

How have your first 90 days been so far? 

First 90 days...I would say that there was a lot of new knowledge thrown at me, a lot of new jargon thrown at me, so kind of trying to absorb all that as fast as I could was one of the challenges. And I would say second probably is more related to ATPCO itself: learning the processes, understanding how things are being done here, what makes sense, what can be improved. Also, learning a lot about the people that work here, you know, and understanding what drives them and what motivates them. It was all very, very exciting and I think that by now I start to see the emerging patterns of what we could do better and what are the opportunities to improve. 

Going off of that, what are some cool projects are you currently working on or your top priorities right now? 

Now that I’m starting to kind of see, at least a little bit, the lay of the land, our leadership team, starting with Rolf, has very well articulated what our goals are as an organization, around NDC, around dynamic pricing, retailing; making sure that reliability that is highly appreciated by our customers stays high for ATPCO. All of these areas intersect within distribution, so distribution will have to touch all of these areas. So, I think that in order to move into a more effective execution, then we need to embrace all these lean practices. 

What do you forecast the rest of your first year to look like? 

Well, I believe that we have a really important mission again in distribution and tying it back with the core areas that ATPCO is focusing on for distribution. To see that the epicenter of NDC, dynamic pricing, retailing, fare management—I think it's essential that we build this robust platform that supports multiple business models within the organization. And I think that historically, distribution was a very reliable service, but now I think the challenge in the next year is how to move these services into a cohesive platform that can truly enable and support the development of all these new areas that ATPCO is focusing on. 

Great! Well, thank you so much for joining us today and sharing how much you've accomplished at ATPCO so far. We're very excited to see all the success in the future. 

Thank you again for joining us today and we look forward to seeing you in the next episode. 

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About Darie Dreptate

Darie is leading the Routehappy and Merchandising product portfolio at ATPCO. He has a vast experience in lean product development and is obsessively aiming to decrease time to value.

He is passionate about Web3 potential and how it can transform the airline industry.