News and updates
NDC European booking trends

NDC now accounts for one-third of all flight bookings made in Europe with Navan

Ed Brooks

18 Jun 2024
4 minute read
Navan NDC bookings in Europe - key trends

New Distribution Capability (NDC) bookings are on the rise and it’s a shift that doesn’t look set to stop. That’s according to new Navan data, which shows NDC accounted for one-third (31%) of all flights booked in Europe with Navan in May 2024, increasing from a 20% share in May 2023. With airlines increasingly prioritising direct and NDC-enabled channels, having access to NDC fares — which can offer greater choice and lower prices — is now a must-have rather than a nice-to-have for companies that travel regularly for business.

What is NDC?

NDC is a modern data transmission standard that gives airlines more flexibility when distributing their content, in turn providing travellers with richer content and a better shopping experience. While NDC can technically be deployed within the usual distribution channels TMCs have access to, such as GDS, aggregators, or direct connections with airlines, many TMCs are failing to adapt to the new reality. That means a substantial chunk of fares could be missing from your booking tool, and you could be overpaying for air travel.

It pays to be on board

New Navan analysis demonstrates the strength of this shift, with up to 57% of fares published by major European airlines potentially missing from legacy distribution channels depending on the route. Having more fares outside your system than inside could lead to leakage and distrust from employees, as well as a lack of visibility and further overspending.

On top of providing access to a greater selection of fares, NDC represents a potential savings opportunity of up to 12% depending on the airline, due to a combination of avoided GDS surcharges and price gaps with EDIFACT channels. Navan data shows individual NDC fares can be up to 60% cheaper than traditional GDS offerings. Missing out on these fares could therefore be costly.

Don’t miss your connection

Navan moved early to ensure customers get access to NDC content and the savings opportunities it provides. Navan customers can currently access 12 NDC connections in Europe, with airlines including British Airways, Lufthansa Group, KLM, Air France, Finnair, and American Airlines — and more are on the way.

We do this by sourcing content from aggregators, GDSs, and direct connections with airlines, to ensure our customers get suitable airline content at the best possible price.

And Navan booking data shows it’s working: in May 2024, NDC accounted for 31% of all flights booked in Europe through Navan.

NDC booking data in the UK

In the UK, 29% of flights booked with Navan in May came from NDC, the third highest share from a major European market, rising from 21% in May of last year.

British Airways had the greatest share of those bookings. Navan rolled out its refreshed NDC connection with British Airways in the first half of 2023 in the UK before scaling throughout the year to other key markets.

“Our continued partnership with Navan means that even more customers will benefit from British Airways’ exclusive NDC content, demonstrating the constructive working relationship we’ve cultivated together over many years,” says Sam Robinson, Head of Distribution at British Airways. “We’ve worked collaboratively with Navan influencing our roadmap to ensure our NDC capability is fit for purpose for our valued TMC and Corporate customers as well as providing a path to modern airline retailing.”

NDC booking data in Europe

The largest proportion of flights booked via NDC in any major European market was in Germany. Forty-five percent of flights booked with Navan in the country are made via NDC, up from 37% during the same period last year. The high NDC utilisation in Germany has been driven in great part by bookings from Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, KLM, and Swiss flights.

France and the Netherlands are joint second in terms of NDC utilisation in major European markets via Navan, with nearly one-third (31%) of airline bookings in each country being made via NDC. A large proportion of these bookings in France and the Netherlands is being made with Air France, KLM, and Lufthansa. NDC as a share of bookings with Navan increased by more than 300% in France, one of the largest year-on-year increases in Europe, and by nearly 200% in the Netherlands.

“Our analysis of flight bookings made in Europe in the last year shows clearly that when NDC is deployed, it is increasingly preferred over legacy content. Many airlines in the region are early adopters of NDC and now provide differentiated content. They are seeing this utilisation with Navan, proving that NDC not only can work, but is already working, for business travellers.”

— Michael Riegel, CEO of Navan, EMEA

As airlines move away from legacy limitations and further enrich travel content, the clear winners are travel programmes with access to NDC airfares.

What our customers say

“With Navan, we’re able to manage travel effectively and utilise rates available on the internet — plus Navan’s direct links with airlines bring in much more inventory,” says Rebecca Linton, Global Head of Accounts Payable and Travel and Entertainment at Zoom, in a recent Navan case study.


Ready to see how Navan’s NDC connections can ensure your company gets all the air content it needs? Book a demo today.

More content you might like