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Interview with Jorge Díaz - Helping agencies solve the NDC equation

Helmut Pilz
Apr 28, 2021 10:05:03 AM

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Improving the experience of booking flights by offering an affordable and easy-to-use NDC based solution. That, and helping travel agencies to become more booking-system agnostic, is the goal of AirGateway. An interview with Jorge Díaz, founder and Managing Director of AirGateway.

Jorge, can you please introduce your NDC Gateway in 3 sentences?

AirGateway is an NDC Aggregator with a dual web interface & API offering an end-to-end solution for shopping, booking, and full-servicing NDC content.

We take seriously the needs of travel agencies who understand that there will be a switch in the industry towards web-based Booking Tools and away from single-terminal points of sale such as the GDS.

We also recognise there will be structural changes in the commercials of the industry at all levels. Especially now after the effects of COVID-19 on the industry.

Which connections do you already have and which connections are planned for the near future?

We currently partner with all the relevant NDC airlines who have active NDC initiatives and that engage towards partners. There are only a few NDC-enabled airlines missing on our content list, and this is simply because we have found some to be less responsive when trying to collaborate. We are now trying to address this through our partnership with ATPCO and their NDC Exchange.

What is your long-term vision for AirGateway?

We want to take a lead role in reimagining the new landscape by offering a faster, better, and more affordable NDC solution to an industry that cries out for help and not invoices. We are especially focused on managed travel and primarily corporate travel.

What makes AirGateway unique?

Two things: Our primary focus on solving all the gaps, questions, and doubts that NDC brought to this industry (which is no small thing) and our willingness at all levels (technical and business) to partner with relevant players that enable us to reduce legacy-system dependency, like for example Umbrella, whom we admire for how you envisioned this current situation years ago.

Who are your clients? Can you name a few references?

A couple of weeks ago we announced our partnership with eGlobalfares. Being a travel tech company like us, we really value their trust in us. We are excited about this partnership; they are well-respected across the industry and their collaboration with us is a great validation of our tool and technology.

We also have agreements with large agency consortiums like the Advantage Travel Partnership in UK and XL Travel in South Africa, with a couple more global networks to be announced soon.

In total now, we have around 200 IATA agencies from around 15 different countries. This excludes some big names in the USA that have more than 100 offices globally that are in implementation so I cannot disclose who these yet – but watch this space!

Where is the company based?

We are happy Berliners (not the doughnut of course!) but we have worked remotely since our first day as a company. Given the situation, this works well for us and enables us to access talent located anywhere.

How do you see the TMC business model evolve over the next few years? What will be critical for their success?

We live in a very complex, tiered and wired industry. Data interoperability is king, as it enables collaboration. Since day one we have been working on building an Open platform that allows all kind of data interaction in both directions. I think this is starting to pay off.

What has been your most remarkable travel experience so far (business or private)?

In 2010, I left my 9 to 5 job and I spent 6 months touring the world as my sabbatical year. I made Europe - Middle-East - Asia from east to west - North America - South America - Back to Madrid! Priceless lifetime experience, no more needs to be said!

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