Many airlines acknowledge the need for transformation but also fear the disruption that could be unleashed upon their business. In all cases, airlines show great interest in collaborating with start-ups to bring new solutions and capabilities to market. Yet this is frustrated by internal process and the lengthy cycle time for integration to required enterprise systems and data.
We launched Datalex Labs with JetBlue Technology Ventures just over 2 months ago. In that time we have been exposed to innovators, investors, accelerators and over a dozen start-ups. We have been surprised by the diversity of solutions, the creative energy, passion and business focus these players bring to making a difference to the travel experience. Yet we were frequently met with complaint toward airline legacy technologies and the lack of open systems being a key constraint to proving their value. We noted challenges and obstacles for both the airline and the start-up, but we believe we have found the solution!
We are launching ‘API Airways’ - a full airline retail platform for airlines and their start-up partners, powered by the Datalex Digital Commerce Platform to empower, enable and accelerate innovation. We will deliver API Airways as a proven and scalable airline commerce platform outside of the scope of traditional delivery models. API Airways will enable rapid programming and POCs of highly innovative solutions using advanced and agile APIs. This, in turn, provides the airlines with the required data points to justify the adoption of new solutions.
API Airways represents our vision of a future state airline. It will leverage the Datalex Digital Commerce Platform, a proven and unified airline offer and order management platform for customer engagement across all channels of distribution. API Airways will not be encumbered by legacy restrictions; it will democratize access and reach via its open REST APIs for airlines and their start-up partners.
API Airways is a platform which we believe will set the course for future-state airline retail capabilities. Our Datalex Labs team is committed to enabling the airline and its start-up partners to innovative at the pace of the opportunity rather than rush to get to parity. We are setting a course for the future-state airline!
If you want to learn more, catch up with the Datalex Labs team. We are at Travel Tech Con in San Francisco this week.
Gianni Cataldo, VP Product & GM Americas, Datalex (USA)