A medium-to-large airline can have as many as 500,000 fares in the marketplace. They may need to monitor up to three million competitor fares at any given time. And, in a single day, a tenth of all fares can change.
It’s mindboggling, then, that airlines still rely on people, email history, and spreadsheets to gather fare data. Such manual processes require looking up fare information in systems that weren’t designed for the purpose – or resorting to advertising or researching fares online.
As we head toward the implementation of IATA’s New Distribution Capability (NDC), will fares management get any easier? The answer, unfortunately, is “probably not.”
NDC will usher in new models - continuous pricing, bucketless distribution, dynamic pricing – that will be cascaded among carriers instead of being published in the traditional way. This has the potential to add even greater complexity to the fares process.
Looking forward, airlines will have no choice but to embrace the automation of fares management. Manual methods just won’t keep up. By automating the process, airlines will get a single version of “the truth,” along with standard, auditable processes for agreeing, executing and cataloguing fares.
SITA’s Airfare Insight – part of the next-generation Horizon Fares Management suite – provides the automation necessary to have truly intelligent fares. It provides work queues for managing the end-to-end processes of requesting, decision-making, approving, and executing fares. It also includes a new tax processing and calculation engine that enables airlines to view the actual prices paid by passengers – allowing an apples-to-apples comparison.
Learn more in Where are your fares? in the latest issue of the Air Transport IT Review.
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