When shall we three meet again, 
In thunder, lightning or in rain? 

The airline industry has been going through a constant (r)evolutionary process over the last 10-15 years, which, for lack of a better term, we refer to as Retailing. New standards and data models abound, with New Distribution Capability (NDC), One Order, Settlement with Orders, One ID and Offer, Order, Settle, Deliver (OOSD) just to name a few. I am sure that many aviation professionals reading this article are familiar with these terms. Today, I would like to talk a bit more about what is being done in the sector and what we are doing as Hitit, especially in light of what was discussed at the International Air Transport Association (IATA)'s recent Offers & Orders forum held in Geneva (21-22 May), which I attended. 
Hitit solutions in the new age of OOSD  

Very early on in our journey at Hitit, we identified the benefits of an SOA architecture, which would allow for decoupled and modular systems on hand, and the ability to expose business functionality to 3rd parties. In Crane PSS we had already successfully deployed our proprietary APIs that would enable mostly OTAs, but possibly other parties as well, into the reservation and booking flows of the airlines. We aimed to offer a robust, more efficient, and much cheaper alternative. Several partner airlines were already utilizing this solution with great effect, when IATA launched NDC program.  The NDC interface was therefore quite a natural fit into our ecosystem. While the operating standard evolved, so did our functionality and implementation.  

We experimented with several schemas, before settling for 17.2 and then 20.1 which are now being heavily used in production. We anticipate a total booking traffic of 30 million PAX and a total shopping traffic of 200Bn queries in 2024. The “look-to-book” ratio in NDC is generally higher than other direct channels, so scalable infrastructure and technology stack are a must, which we are always striving to support and improve.  

New times come with ever-changing demands, especially on the distribution side. We have recently developed several new critical features in the domain and our partners are already putting them into effect. The first feature of interest is the Ancillary Dynamic Pricing. With this module, Crane PSS can be extended to dynamically price any single ancillary or -bundle. In the next iterations, we will provide dynamic bundle content generation. On the flights side, we have built a continuous pricing module, the ability to insert practically any number of price points, within the predesignated reservation booking designators. As the next and most ambitious step yet, we are piloting an AI-based dynamic pricing module. Currently, it is being trialed only on a single airline partner, on a limited number of routes. Very soon we expect to be able to roll it out to all interested partners across all routes.  

On the other hand, we are investing heavily in developing future-proof solutions that are compliant with industry standards. Our very own Offers and Orders system - Crane OOMS, is under development. The first phase has already been completed and has passed internal testing and quality gateway requirements –  and is now ready to be trialed in partners’ staging environments. We are embracing IATA’s 21.3 schema, and we have internalized IATA capabilities validation process as a crucial step in our workflows. This is important to ensure a higher level of standardization and cross-functionality. We call on all the actors (airlines, IT providers, and sellers) to actively embrace this process. So far 32 capabilities have been validated, 8 more are in the validation process, with another 6 capabilities in the development pipeline. We estimate that by the time of first live deployment, we should have around 60 certified capabilities. 


The future is challenging but also exciting and full of interesting problems – challenges to be overcome. At Hitit, we embrace problem-solving, and we thrive on innovation. We don’t see this as an individual effort, rather as a joint enterprise in conjunction with our airline partners, and our solution-users, be they travelers or API-consuming agencies. So that, unlike that Scottish play referred to at the beginning of this post, next time we meet under one clear sky and unlimited horizons.