The Key to Managing VI Risk: How Trip Ninja uses VariFlight Data to Help OTAs Manage VI Self-Transfer Risk

March 19, 2024

Virtual Interlining (VI) is an exciting new feature in the aviation world quickly being adopted by Online Travel Agencies (OTAs). Virtual Interlining has a compounded annual growth rate of 27%, with an increase of more than 124MM passengers self-connecting globally since 2017.

From the traveller's perspective, improving flight optionality and achieving significant cost savings are important factors in choosing an itinerary. With that said, introducing self-transfer, inherently required for VI technology, can also introduce missed connection risks which the passenger may or may not be responsible for. So, in the dynamic world of air travel, how can OTAs manage the potential risks of Virtual Interlining while offering unique and affordable itineraries to their travellers? We think the key to building resonant and low-risk self-transfer itineraries is two-fold:

  1. Using data to understand risks and offer itineraries only within comfortable risk boundaries
  2. Aligning traveller expectations and your customer service values to offer a seamless customer experience when choosing Vi itineraries

In this post, we will focus the first component, exploring how Trip Ninja uses VariFlight data analytics to help our OTA partners easily manage VI risk at their convenience using our admin panel.

Knowledge is Power

The first component of managing risk is understanding where, and to what extent risks exist. When employing a Virtual Interlining technology to compose better itineraries, data is a powerful tool that can be used to help quantify risk in various self-transfer routes. With quantified risks, OTAs can make informed decisions about how to best service their travellers with a suitable trip.  This is why we at Trip Ninja are proud to partner with VariFlight, using their global flight historic on-time performance analytics to manage missed connection risk and create customizable VI Risk Profiles. From VariFlight, we are able to receive the accurate and reliable historical data feed required for our risk profile calculations.

Managing Missed Connection Risk

To effectively manage risk, Trip Ninja offers our OTA partners the ability to choose the Maximum Probability of misconnection for any composed Virtual Interlining itinerary. By setting a maximum misconnection probability in our Admin Portal at their leisure, SmartFlights API users ensure that their customers only see Trip Ninja constructed itineraries that are within comfortable risk boundaries.

The maximum probability of misconnection is calculated for each unique flight that is followed by a self-transfer within a Trip Ninja constructed VI itinerary. Using VariFlight historical (rolling 30-day) flight data for these unique flights and internal sensitivity analyses, we create the maximum probability of misconnection using the following variables:

  1. Layover time
  2. Average delay time
  3. Cancellation probability
  4. Domestic or International Self-Transfer

Customized Risk Profiles

For OTAs looking to further customize their risk management, Trip Ninja uses VariFlight historical flights data to offer SmartFlights users the ability to easily manage specific risk parameters such as:

  • Minimum self-transfer tie
  • Maximum average delay time
  • Maximum cancellation probability
  • Allowing or limiting international connections

This tailored filtering capability empowers OTAs to offer VI itineraries that exactly fit their service expectations and manage risks proactively for VI flights.

Take Control of Your Risks

Managing Virtual Interlining risk doesn't need to be challenging. With VariFlight's historical flight data, Trip Ninja enables our OTA partners to swiftly manage self-transfer risks, provide better itineraries to travellers, and boost revenue per search.

Connect with us to learn more about how Trip Ninja's SmartFlights API can earn you more revenue per search, with less headache.  

About VariFlight

Founded in 2005, VariFlight - with a vision of "living on time" - a global leading aviation data intelligence company focused on helping businesses build data application capabilities for achieving growth.Learn more at

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