IBS launches NDC-compliant PSS, signs SunExpress

Travel, transportation and logistics technology firm IBS Software has signed up SunExpress for its iFlyRes passenger service system (PSS), which it claims is the first PSS on the market to natively support IATA’s NDC.

SunExpress is a joint venture between Turkish Airlines and Lufthansa Group, carrying some 9 million passengers a year. Its managing director Jaan Albrecht said that the airline had spent between 18 and 24 months looking at options before deciding on IBS.

“We needed a PSS which would take us into the next decade,” he explained. “We are a leisure carrier but we’ve a complex business model which the PSS needs to support – we do seat-only and full and part-charters with tour operators. We’ve got two systems at the moment – one for seat-only, one for tour operators, and they don’t talk to each other. IBS will give us one seamlesss system to work across all our business lines.”

Currently around 60% of its business is seat-only with the balance coming from sales to tour operators. Albrecht admitted that, for a business with such a large direct business, its ancillary revenues are “basically, non-existent.”

The NDC compatibility of iFly Res will help to address this gap in the revenue mix. “We’re not planning on reinventing the wheel, but we do have a creative team looking at how to approach ancillaries. We think that NDC is a state-of-the-art technology which will help us professionalise our approach generally, while keeping our low cost structures in place.”

iFly Res will handle SunExpress’ reservations, ticketing, and departure control operations.

For IBS, the SunExpress deal is the first to be announced since Blackstone invested $170 million in the business late last year.

IBS executive chairman VK Mathews noted that IBS would continue to invest heavily in its i Fly Res product as a result of the Blackstone interest. “Our growth strategy is twofold – we will be fulfilling our current research and development commitments, such as a next generation platform for flight and crew operations, and we are also looking at acquisitions which are synergistic with our existing businesses.”

The i Fly suite of products is around half of the IBS business and its target market, for now, is low-cost carriers and hybrid airlines – those which like to pick and mix elements from low-cost and full-service. Hybrids are more amenable to codeshares and interlining than the low-cost purists, and these options were of interest to Sun Express, according to Albrecht.

IBS has tech products for a variety of verticals, including a loyalty management solution which Mathews said it was also talking to SunExpress about.

NB Image by Shutterstock.com

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Martin Cowen

About the Writer :: Martin Cowen

Martin Cowen is contributing editor for tnooz and is based in the UK. Besides reporting and editing, he also oversees our sponsored content initiative and works directly with clients to produce articles and reports. For the past several years he has worked as a freelance writer, specialising in B2B distribution and technology. Before freelancing, from 2000-2008, he was launch editor for e-tid.com, the first online-only B2B daily news service for the UK travel sector.



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  1. Sezan

    NDC is not a technology but a standard. To realize the full potential of NDC, there is a need for aggregation. NDC at PSS native as a standalone entity doesn’t add much advantage as airline PSS has full control of what content do they display at native, neither this was the purpose for NDC. Yes, definitely preparedness to expose airlines services at NDC standards is an advantage for future and many airlines including BA is already compliant with this. Anyways congratulations for the success of having SunExpress on board. This is definitely a feather in IBS cap. Well done.

    • David Friderici

      Dear Sezan,

      thank you very much for the wishes. I fully agree that it doesn’t add real value if it is being only added natively to a PSS only for the purpose to do message conversion without leveraging any of the benefits like personalisation, dynamic pricing, ancillaries, dynamic bundling of ancillaries, rich content, etc.
      However this looks different, if you add this to a PSS that incorporates already many of these capabilities while using latest technology principles to achieve this, as we do with iFly Res.
      This is no longer pure message conversation, this allows any aggregating instance to fully leverage the advantages of the NDC standard.
      Although iFly Res comes along with an IBS API too that allows to achieve all this, NDC will cut down implementation times for any aggregating instance. This was the main objective. Furthermore the native integration will allow us to fully leverage the next upcoming NDC version that will provide interline capabilities.
      Finally there is of course as well a performance benefit that we have, by integrating it natively rather than putting a layer on top.

  2. Jens Ritterhoff

    Congratulations! This is a great achievement. NDC in action from the core. Everybody in the distribution chain should speed up to keep pace with these developments. It will be interesting to monitoring what Sun Express is going to do with this

  3. Jonathan Boffey

    I think this is great news for the airline sector and highlights how NDC will become the key standard for distribution. An NDC native PSS will readily allow SunExpress to play across many channels at any level in the supply chain.

  4. Roland Heller

    actually they don’t launch a PSS, but the NDC API only. the system itself exists since 15 years and was at one point marketed as aiRes by Travelport.

    • David Friderici

      We at IBS follow a very structured and stream lined product development with fixed and very short product release cycles. We follow a very precise roadmap to evolve the product consistently. This implies that the product, including the product philosophy and the technology stack is always kept at the cutting-edge. There are several approaches to implement NDC. The most popular one is certainly to put an NDC layer on top of a PSS. This works, but comes along with some trade-offs, in particular when it comes to offer management, personalisation and also the upcoming NDC interline functionality.
      For us this meant that we had to make significant changes in the PSS core to make NDC work the way it is supposed to work, while we did not want to experience any of the mentioned trade-offs. NDC can be treated as an API only, but if a PSS wants to integrate it perfectly right, not touching the core is not an option.


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