// . //  Insights //  How ONE Order Can Revolutionize Modern Airline Retailing

Airline retailing has traveled a long way from the days when passengers presented a paper ticket to board an aircraft, but it still has a long way to go before reaching the next generation of airline retailing. ONE Order, an industry-led initiative from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), is intended to simplify airline reservation, delivery, and accounting system and provide the airline industry that new world of streamlined order-taking.

Oliver Wyman and Air France-KLM developed this white paper to share lessons learned so far from Air France-KLM’s ongoing transition to ONE Order and provide transparency into what the experience was like. Our goal is to make a compelling executive-level case for change by translating stated industry benefits into tangible areas of strategic value.

A timeline — moving from passenger name records (PNR) to ONE Order

We believe that the Air France-KLM example can function as a blueprint for other carriers exploring a transition to ONE Order. It provides a clear, structured, and detailed plan for implementation, while recognizing the need for each carrier to build its own unique strategic rationale for such a complex migration.

Here are four basic lessons we took away from our experiment:

  • Initiating the process needs a clear articulation of “why,” elevating the tangible value observed at the working level to an executive rationale.

  • For something of this magnitude, engagement across all airline passenger functions from an early stage is critical.

  • The case for change needs to balance strategic and financial benefits for a diverse range of stakeholders.

  • The importance of proper planning cannot be understated, and the airline’s entire management team needs to feel confident that there is a robust and agreed-upon approach to this multiyear endeavour.

The opportunity to unlock value from ONE Order is becoming clearer with both industry studies and the increasing number of carriers embracing the idea and beginning the journey. It is still a daunting challenge without the right structured approach to gain buy-in and formalize the program. 

Unfortunately, the full value of ONE Order will not be realized until the industry migration hits scale. And that will not be easy, given how ingrained the current system of passenger name record, electronic miscellaneous document and e-ticket is. It will take a conscious effort to ensure that the baggage and limitations of the old terminology, processes, and ways of working are not carried over — as they were in earlier transitions, such as the move from paper tickets to e-tickets.

That is why Air France-KLM and Oliver Wyman are eager to share their lessons. ONE Order is a journey the entire airline industry will eventually have to take together.