IATA’s Air Industry Retailing Hackathon, which took place on 24 June in Madrid, saw PKFare, a China-based global travel content hub, win the “Best Usage of Iberia NDC API” award. The Hackathon is intended to encourage the development of innovative ideas and solutions that can enhance airline retailing through the use of NDC (New Distribution Capability) APIs (application programming interfaces). The hackathon begins with an ideation phase preparation phase, followed by and a non-stop coding session in which participants work on projects and pitch ideas to a jury panel of industry experts and mentors.
Within 28 hours, a team of three staff from PKFare – the only short-listed travel tech team from China – developed new features designed to to read and intuitively display Iberia’s branded fares, and offer exhaustive content and various ancillaries such as lounge access, inflight wi-fi, seat selection, luggage allowance, as well as the handicap assistance options including wheelchairs and guide dogs, while providing an enjoyable user experience.
“It may be the first time that a travel tech company from China has gained this world-wide recognition for NDC implementation,” said Jason Sui, SVP and co-founder of PKFare. “For now, the distribution channels for airlines’ ancillaries are fragmented. And how to provide centralised and personalised offering, is the key issue we target. Empowered by AI and cloud computing technology, we can be the ‘partner’ to airlines more than solely aggregator and distributor. By aggregating various travel-related content and accumulating shopping data through AI and cloud calculation, airlines are able to better model and personalise their products.”