By Victor Shalton
Kenya Airways Introduces Travel Platform for Enhanced Customer Service
Kenya Airways recently launched a New Distribution Capabilities system (NDC), which will modernize the way air products are retailed to travel agents, corporations and travelers.
The web-based distribution solution seeks to encourage travel agencies and travelers to sell and access more content and ancillaries like extra baggage and preferred seats. In addition, this system will subsequently ensure they get tailored offers that match their preferences and travel history.
Julius Thairu, Chief Commercial and Customer Officer at Kenya Airways said the new solution will provide an offering that has more data and gives them a chance to interact directly with the airline without an intermediary.
“We’re proud to be the first African carrier to integrate with NDC at scale as part of our commitment to customer centricity that upholds innovation, insights, and interconnectivity for improved customer experiences. Our mandate as the pride of Africa is to understand our customers’ needs and align our products and services to address their end-to-end experience throughout their customer journey,” Thairu said.
What is an NDC?
NDC is a communications protocol created by IATA in 2012, aimed at streamlining the airline distribution process. An Extensible Markup Language (XML) standard has been adopted since this is the technology that underpins most online marketing from e-commerce transactions to podcast distribution to powering search engine optimization to graphical presentations. This technology will improve the connection between airlines and third parties, such as online travel agencies (OTA) and global distribution systems (GDS),
Travel advisors around the globe will enjoy accessing the content thanks to the partnership with the Verteil Technologies platform offering agents more personalized shopping experiences and access to customer information.
“Our new agreement with Verteil is an exciting addition to the NDC solution, creating greater opportunities for all partners in the travel ecosystem. In addition, the agreement ensures access to KQ content is the same as any content an agency or other seller would get from any other intermediary or aggregator,” Thairu added.
Jerrin Jos, Founder, and Chief Executive Officer, of Verteil Technologies, said the partnership is a testament to the critical role Verteil is playing when it comes to the development and promotion of NDC content distribution worldwide.
“We believe that KQ will be able to benefit from the superior direct booking capability, allowing the airline to work directly with Travel Agencies worldwide without constraints from legacy distribution channels. Africa is a focus market for Verteil, and we are quite excited to be facilitating the adoption of NDC technology significantly in this region,” Jos said
As the Kenyan flag carrier opts for digital integration to power up its processes, the airline is set to increase its European flight offering as the SkyTeam Alliance airline earlier this month increased its service offering on its Nairobi to London’s Heathrow Airport route, by adding an 8th weekly flight scheduled to operate on Sundays from Nairobi.
The 8th weekly flight is scheduled between June 5 and July 25 except for 03-04 July 2022. Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners will be used on this route.
Other European service adjustments for the summer 2022 season include Nairobi –Amsterdam which increases from 4 times a week to 5 times-weekly effective July 7, while flights to Paris will operate 6 times weekly up from 5 times weekly effective July 19 to September 1.