British Airways has appointed Rogier van Enk from transatlantic joint-venture partner Finnair as its new head of distribution.
Van Enk will be responsible for BA distribution strategy including the development of new distribution capability (NDC) channels with third-party retailers.
He will report to BA chief commercial officer Andrew Brem, who joined the carrier in October 2018 from insurance group Aviva.
Van Enk was at Finnair for eight years, his most recent role being vice-president of digital revenue and distribution, responsible for digital sales and ecommerce, data science, GDS and NDC distribution.
He will join BA this month.
Brem said: “I’m delighted to welcome Rogier into this key role where he will continue to innovate NDC and enhance the product offerings for closer cooperation between British Airways and its key partners.
“It’s an exciting transformation for the travel industry that benefits all parties, especially customers, [and] Rogier brings a wealth of experience.”
Van Enk said: “I’m excited to join British Airways and build on the momentum of continued growth and success of NDC.
“The airline is a leader in this area and recently achieved Iata’s highest certification level.”
NDC channels, developed in line with Iata technology standards, aim to replicate online-style retailing and customisation via travel agents and travel management companies (TMCs).
Airlines envision NDC channels replacing legacy distribution systems, although the major global distribution systems (GDSs) are involved in developing the technology.
In a statement, BA said: “Travel agencies can connect directly to British Airways’ NDC APIs [application programme interfaces] using an increasing number of aggregator solutions or book through the booking portal provided by [BA parent group] IAG.”
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