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Transformation under way: From low-fare search to modern airline retailing

Transformation under way: From low-fare search to modern airline retailing

Industry colleagues,   

The second half of 2023 is already under way, and I always like to take this time to reflect on progress made so far, lessons learned, and what’s coming next. In January, I wrote a letter to the industry that focused on the work I am proud that we at ATPCO have achieved, and I talked about ATPCO continuing to develop innovative solutions that will anticipate future marketplace needs. 

It was October 2022, on stage at our Elevate conference, where ATPCO announced our industry outcome goal of providing the framework needed to enable 80 percent of sold offers being dynamically created by 2026. I thought that we should discuss the progress made since then and roadblocks that the industry is capable of working through to achieve this shared vision.  

Slow and steady 

23% of sold offers in the market were dynamically createdFirst, measuring the progress toward this goal isn’t as easy as adding up some numbers in a database or surveying our customers. Getting to meaningful, predicative data required detailed work by ATPCO analysts. As the industry evolves, so will the ability to easily measure dynamically created offers, and ATPCO will continue to champion this effort.  

What we found is that currently, as an industry, an estimated 23 percent of sold offers in the market were dynamically created, up from 6 percent in October 2022. While this number doesn’t seem high on the surface, it represents a shift in the market, and it will only continue to grow.

This 23 percent was also met while ATPCO continued to see record fare and rule volumes of more than 323 million fares in our database, and we are sending more than 4 billion records to our subscribers every day. These volumes prove the consistent need for interoperability as we move from static fare filing to dynamic pricing at scale, although it should be noted that current fare filing will continue to exist alongside dynamic offer creation for quite some time, and ATPCO will support both methods.   

Driving industry-wide adoption of customized offers across the offer life cycle 

Moving from low-fare search to modern airline retailing is a vision ATPCO is continuing to make a reality. While progress can sometimes feel slow, transformation is well under way through collaboration from our airline and industry partners. 

ATPCO continues to tackle many challenges and post many successes in parallel across the offer life cycle. 

Creating the offer 

We have seen some great strides in the last six months when it comes to the progress of our current and future solutions that will further enable dynamic offers. We are formally launching our Assembled Data Feed solution later this year in Q4. Assembled Data Feed provides a comprehensive dataset backed by industry standard processing logic that enables airlines to streamline their competitive market analysis, fare management processes, and in the future, the offer creation process.

With Assembled Data Feed, airlines will save time and resources by optimizing revenue management and pricing without needing to resolve fare, rule, and footnote data on their own.   

Also, our fare management solution Architect has seen phenomenal growth since its launch. With three new airlines joining our growing community in just the last few months alone, it’s clear that the future of airline pricing and modern airline retailing starts here at ATPCO. 

Distributing the offer  

Our soon-to-be-launched solution Airline Order Posting will close the gap between dynamic offers and current downstream processes. Airline Order Posting, after being agreed to by the industry last year, takes dynamically priced orders, extracts the relevant fare data, and distributes this data in ATPCO format, enabling downstream servicing. This bridge is needed while the current fare-filing system is in place and will mean that dynamically created offers can be serviced in today’s hybrid pricing world.

Airlines interested in adopting this solution should reach out to ATPCO and also make their servicing provider aware of these needs. 

The NDC Solutions Design Team has also seen some great collaborative success in breaking down the barriers to NDC adoption while discussing the business problems we must overcome together, such as enabling sellers to mark up non-NDC offers. Another is giving airlines the ability to differentiate their offers by sales channel, which ATPCO can enable via our Enhanced Distribution solution, Category 15, or a combination of both.

We have also been working with 20 airlines and sellers interested in utilizing the code from NDC Exchange to further their NDC plans, which we are providing at no cost. 

Presenting the offer 

Delivering enhanced merchandising through Routehappy remains a key focus for ATPCO. We have seen our coverage of Premium UPAs (visual images and content) grow to over 40 percent of the market share, while Amenities covers 99 percent of the global available flight miles. Our recent partnership with IATA on CO2 emissions data proves the value in updating industry content to satisfy market and consumer needs.

We are proud that this data will be ready for integration by the close of the year and that we are delivering the information airline customers are asking for in a meaningful way. 

Servicing, settling, and posting the offer   

Our plan for “no touch” servicing and settlement by changing pricing assumptions to use automation—rather than manual work of changes and refunds—is on track for launch in 2024, with this change expecting to increase automation of reissues by at least 10 percent and automation of refunds by at least 20 percent industry-wide.

We have also continued our close partnership with ARC to share infrastructure for sales data and we are in the final stages of building and testing the new AWS Sales Data Exchange platform for a Q4 2023 release. This move to a modern, scalable platform will lower costs and create a comprehensive sales data lake to support settlement and industry business intelligence. 

Time waits for no one, and with the first half of the year in the books, a lot has been accomplished and there’s plenty more work ahead. I’m looking forward to giving our partners an in-person update at our Dubai Focus Summit+ event being held on 3-5 October 2023. I hope to see as many of you as possible as we work toward our goals, together. 

Our commitment to the industry is steadfast, and you’re an important part of how we get there.  

Alex Zoghlin


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About Alex Zoghlin

A lifelong entrepreneur and innovator, Alex brings more than 25 years of knowledge and experience in technology, airline distribution, and travel to ATPCO.

He founded six startups, including Orbitz and G2Switchworks, before serving as Executive Vice President, Global Head of Strategy, Innovation, and Technology at Hyatt Hotels Corporation.

He brings his business acumen and experiences from the hospitality world to concepts the airline industry can use, such as addressing digital booking flows, digital display, unstructured datasets, and dynamic pricing.

When not working, Alex enjoys spending time with his wife and four daughters, making music, building rockets, and learning new things.