IATA 2016: Bringing transparency, visibility to NDC deployments

IATA 2016: Bringing transparency, visibility to NDC deployments

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is launching the New Distribution Capability (NDC) Certification Registry to recognize those companies that have implemented part or all of the NDC technical standard.

The Registry lists airlines, travel agents and aggregators (such as global distribution systems) that have achieved NDC certification as well as those IT providers that have demonstrated they are capable of delivering NDC-certified products.

“Since the IATA membership approved the first NDC standard in September 2015 we have seen a huge upsurge in interest and activity among airlines, global distribution systems and IT providers. NDC certification confirms the scope and level of an entity’s ability to receive and send NDC messages. Making that information available on a public registry provides transparency and visibility on existing deployments as well as identifying those travel agents, aggregators and IT suppliers who have demonstrated a level of readiness to support NDC messages,” said Aleks Popovich, IATA Senior Vice President, Financial and Distribution Services.

Any airline that deploys an NDC application programming interface (API) to make its content available, or any agent or aggregator that uses these APIs to get that content, may apply for NDC certification. Any vendor that offers NDC products and services for airlines and travel agents can apply to be NDC-capable.

NDC certification and NDC-capable statuses have three levels of attainment:
•Level 1 covers implementation using past and current NDC schemas with a limited scope – for example, sales of ancillaries post-booking.
•Level 2 focuses on Offer Management. This level requires a more extensive use of the shopping/offer management API.
•Level 3 targets NDC end-to-end deployments. These are deployments which cover both offer and order management and where the airline takes full control of shopping as well as booking, payment and ticketing.

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As of 1 June, 20 airlines and 17 technology companies have achieved NDC certification or NDC-capable status, while 6 have applications in progress.

“NDC is now mainstream. In 2016, the program is transitioning to enhancing the standard and driving further deployment. The NDC Certification Registry will help airlines to identify those travel technology stakeholders who are also moving forward to modernize distribution and transform the way air products are retailed,” said Popovich.