< PrevNext > Moshe Rafiah, Travelfusion CEO NDC's First Emperor By Amon Cohen / December 13, 2019 Share "2019 has been the year of New Distribution Capability," said Moshe Rafiah. It certainly has been for his business, the aggregator Travelfusion, which handled 350,000 NDC bookings, or 850,000 segments, with 35 airlines in October. Rafiah believes Travelfusion currently "commands about 50 percent of NDC bookable traffic," although the figure is unverifiable. Still, even though BCD Travel, CWT, Egencia and pretty much all the major booking tools are among those sucking in NDC fares piped through Travelfusion, 70 percent of Rafiah's NDC business is generated by leisure-focused online travel agencies. "Leisure is much simpler because the OTAs have already designed systems to handle multi-source solutions," he said. "Everything effectively goes into a consolidated itinerary database."Business travel is more complicated—not, according to Rafiah, because servicing bookings or meeting such corporate requirements as the generation of management information is harder. Instead, he insisted, the difficulty lies in the continuing reliance of travel management companies on global distribution systems not only for making bookings but also for managing them through passenger name record passive segments.Many TMCs have been waiting for GDSs to introduce their own NDC pipes, but although that finally happened in 2019, they are not yet at scale—and the lack of commercial agreements between the GDSs and such key carriers as British Airways suggest a GDS route to access fares that are increasingly available only via NDC no longer can be relied upon.Instead, said Rafiah, confirming remarks made by BA head of distribution Ian Luck to The Beat in November, TMCs are rethinking their tech strategies. Rafiah commended businesses such as TravelPerk, TripActions, Egencia and Reed & Mackay for creating their own desktops that can in principle source from any channel and "host the bookings themselves, so they can also integrate from suppliers like Airbnb." Meanwhile, Travelfusion is working on a complete GDS bypass that resolves servicing issues by moving the entire order-management process for bookings to an XML-based format based on the International Air Transport Association's One Order standard. As a result, said Rafiah, "it's the first time in 40 years you can consume full-service carriers via a new channel." 2020 should prove whether the Travelfusion CEO's bold claim is justified.