Beyond Borders: How Tech Trends Are Redefining Air Travel and Content

Beyond Borders: How Tech Trends Are Redefining Air Travel and Content

March 6, 2024

The travel industry is soaring into a new era, propelled by cutting-edge technologies reshaping how OTAs utilize their content and create optimal itineraries for their customers. For Online Travel Agencies (OTAs), staying ahead of these trends is crucial to offering customers the best itinerary and a seamless experience. Let's explore a few of the latest tech trends that are transforming content usage and air travel at large:


1. AI-Driven API Integration for Dynamic, Customizable Offerings

We find that OTAs historically have focused on API integrations to increase content offerings. Trends in technology dictate that the next wave of API Integrations for OTAs brings largely AI and machine-learning driven solutions to maximize customer conversions, improve traveller experience, and enhance revenues via ancillary products, insurance, and content optimization. As with most other industries, it is critical for OTAs to quickly adopt an AI driven solution that makes sense for their business to ensure relevancy in today's rapidly changing consumer landscape.

2. Virtual Interlining Solutions: Connecting the Dots for Seamless Travel

The needs of the leisure traveller extends beyond the boundaries of traditional interlining solutions. Interlining, a commercial agreement among multiple airline carriers to sell each other's flights and ancillaries, has been in place since 1947. As such, interlining agreements typically do not  include Low Cost Carriers (LCC) within an alliance. Virtual Interlining solutions have rapidly grown in the past decade, allowing OTAs to combine flights without an existing interlining agreement using an API like Trip Ninja's SmartFlights. This can include connecting a Full Service Carrier (FSC) and LCC carrier to expand networks and service new routes. We see from Skift's 2023 State of Travel Report that in our inflationary era, 19% of Business and Leisure travellers picked a less expensive flight to combat rising travel prices, and from OAG that the Virtual Interlining market has grown by 27% in recent years. By incorporating an AI driven virtual interlining solution like that available in Trip Ninja's SmartFlights API, OTAs can provide travellers with increased connectivity and reduced pricing opportunity, without the need for additional content sources.

3. NDC (New Distribution Capability) Adoption: Personalized Shopping Experiences Take Flight

The industry-wide shift towards New Distribution Capability (NDC) standards is revolutionizing how airlines distribute their content. The continued development of customization and optimization that we have seen in the significant expansion of AI-driven solutions is one that again can be found in the data source realm. Airlines are embracing NDC technology to offer OTAs richer content and more personalized shopping experiences for their customers. This not only enhances the efficiency of the distribution process but also allows OTAs to tailor their offerings to the unique preferences of their customers. NDC adoption is a game-changer, empowering OTAs to provide a more user-centric and flexible travel booking experience. With the push towards varied content sources including NDC being so significant, it is important to also recognize the significance of finding solutions that can utilize these content sources efficiently.

As the airline industry continues to evolve, OTAs should embrace these tech trends to stay at the forefront of innovation. By incorporating virtual interlining, leveraging AI, and adopting varied content source integrations like NDC, OTAs can redefine their role in shaping the future of travel.

We hope the above offers insight into some of the key technology trends that are reshaping air travel, and the opportunity that these emerging technologies create. If you are looking to capture the benefit of any of the above-listed trends, or want to learn more, connect with our team here.

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