Both Lufthansa and United have conducted successful ONE Order pilots in recent times.

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A group of aviation professionals have urged the industry to recognize the potential of ONE Order in revolutionizing how airlines do business.

“How we sell our product is mindlessly complicated,” said United Airlines Managing Director Customer Platforms Soumit Nandi at IATA’s Airline Industry Retailing Symposium (AIRS). 

Addressing delegates in Bangkok, Nandi made it clear that the carrier is an enthusiastic participant in the ONE Order initiative that aims to replace e-tickets, PNRs and EMDs with a single customer-focused order. 

Christian Popp, Head of Distribution and Revenue Management Strategy and Business, Lufthansa Group also backed the implementation of ONE Order. 

He said that Lufthansa has identified three key benefit drivers: From the passenger perspective, ONE Order will simplify the customer journey and make it seamless, with an amplified choice of products and services. 

We know with ONE Order we can fully leverage NDC capabilities

On the airline side, it will deliver process efficiencies and enable airlines to introduce “de-specialized” IT solutions. Finally, there is a revenue benefit. “We know with ONE Order we can fully leverage NDC capabilities,” he said. 

Nandi meanwhile, noted that the existing processes also create a lot of complexity for the airline’s employees, today and in future. “We can’t scale the industry like this,” he warned.

Both Lufthansa and United have conducted successful ONE Order pilots, with Lufthansa transporting 200 passengers on ONE Order records according to Popp. 

United’s pilot involved five travelers. According to Nandi, it covered a domestic flight that was shopped and booked on United.com. 

The pilot did not involve PNRs, tickets, EMDs bag check or revenue accounting, and included a local tour booked through the airline. 

Nandi said the airline tracked the order fulfillment and while the pilot was successful, he also highlighted a challenge needing to be addressed: “We could not make bag check-in work.” 

However, the airline executives were not ready to predict a timeline for implementation. “It will take a while, let’s be frank,” Popp said. 

Stephane Lecourtois, Amadeus’ Director, Airlines Solutions, NDC & Order Management said airlines need to create “transition”, not a “big bang.”

“One of the things we have to figure out is settlement, especially as we bring in outside partners,” added Nandi.

Nevertheless, there was agreement that stakeholders are broadly aligned on the need to move towards ONE Order and with far less controversy than NDC generated when it first was introduced.

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