Understanding the Airline Retailing

When it comes to airline retailing, it is no secret that the aviation industry trail other industries. To gain traction in the airline retail space, it is important to understand the dynamics driving change in the airline industry and the strategies needed to fulfill the needs and expectations of today’s tech-savvy travelers.


Many airlines are still limited in their ability to influence travelers and successfully retail across the entire customer journey. Siloed data, lack of customer insights and disparate distribution strategies have left airlines blind to the information and resources necessary to excel as world-class retailers.

What is Airline Retailing?

According to IATA, the Airline Industry Retailing (AIR) portfolio aims to help the airline industry build stronger retailing processes, enabling its customers to “shop-order-pay” for air products across all channels.

The airline’s future performance largely depends on how quickly they can transform their distribution and payment legacy processes into a digital retailing environment.

The airline retailing portfolio is a set of projects and activities building new capabilities that will help the industry participate in this digital transformation.

They are closely linked to the common goal of enhancing the Shop-Order-Pay to improve capabilities to support products’ flexibility, consistency across channels, and consent on forms of payment (from customers) and remittance (from agents) and their associated costs.

Some Airline Retailing Projects

Shop-NDC: Transform the way air products are currently retailed to corporations, leisure, and business travelers.

Order-ONE Order: Simplify airline distribution, by modernizing the order management process.

Image of Johannesburg
South Africa’s legislative capital Cape Town and the country’s largest city Johannesburg is the busiest airline route in Africa. The journey takes two hours by air.

Pay-NewGen ISS: Transform the current ISS model which facilitates the distribution and settlement of funds between travel agents and airlines.

Transparency in Payment (TIP): Provide airlines with increased transparency and control in the collection of their sales through the travel agency channel.

Airline Retailing Events and Activities

AR Symposium: A major event addressing in depth the topics of Distribution and Payment from a customer perspective

AR Tech Zone: A community portal for developers covering different industry initiatives and a one-stop-shop for accessing resources, documentation and implementation guidance

AIR Hackathons: Round-the-clock experiences gathering developers from across the globe to work on innovative solutions enhancing airline retailing.

AR Think Tank: A platform for ideation formed of key stakeholders across the industry.

AR Webinars: A series of workshops contributing to build the AIR innovation profile and ensure consistency across all AIR-related activities among key industry stakeholders.

AR Business Travel Summit: A unique event offering the opportunity to get the latest insights from the industry value chain while they articulate their NDC roadmaps to adoption.

Image of Sabre New Distribution Capability NDC

You can also check out our NDC eBook which looks at the end-to-end process of next-generation airline retailing, distribution and fulfillment.

With expert industry opinions, it will demystify critical topics such as IATA NDC, discuss the importance of personalized products and services and provide practical tips for key players in the travel ecosystem.

We’ll also explore the next frontier – new tools and standards, emerging technologies and inspired approaches to put airlines, travel agencies, and their technology partners ahead of the retailing game.

READ ALSO: How Sabre is leveraging the Machine Learning algorithm

About Sabre Corporation

Sabre Corporation is the leading technology provider to the global travel industry. Sabre’s software, data, mobile and distribution solutions are used by hundreds of airlines and thousands of hotel properties to manage critical operations, including passenger and guest reservations, revenue management, flight, network, and crew management. Sabre also operates a leading global travel marketplace, which processes more than US$120 billion of global travel spend annually by connecting travel buyers and suppliers. Headquartered in Southlake, Texas, USA, Sabre serves customers in more than 160 countries around the world.

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