The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced that the IATA Passenger Services Conference (PSC) adopted a Resolution on a Foundation Standard for a New Distribution Capability (NDC), during a meeting at the World Passenger Symposium in Abu Dhabi.
The NDC will enable airlines to offer more options to customers and to reach them seamlessly across all distribution channels. Currently around 60% of tickets by value are sold indirectly through travel agencies using global distribution systems (GDS). With the NDC, airlines will be able to recognize these customers and therefore provide tailored offerings, as they already can for those customers who go directly to airline websites.
The standard is the culmination of 12 months of intense coordination across the value chain with participation from airlines, global distribution systems, the travel agency community including online travel agencies and IT providers and their respective trade organizations.
The NDC will create a set of open XML standards to modernize airline retailing by enabling innovation in the way airline products are distributed, and making possible personalized offers to passengers who will have access to all airline products and services regardless of distribution channel.
The key attributes of the NDC include that:
The NDC is built on the principles of collaboration, transparency and innovation.
It is an industry effort involving all partners in the travel value chain, including airlines, online travel agents and travel management companies, GDSs and other travel technology providers
Airlines will be able to differentiate and personalize their product and service offerings across all channels while ensuring that passengers will have full visibility of airline fares and services
It will facilitate new entrants into the distribution sector, resulting in increased competition. Historically competition leads to lower prices and increased choices for consumers.
“A Foundation Standard for the NDC is the first step to enabling the development of open XML standards that will be available for all interested providers to work on and develop their own offerings. At the World Passenger Symposium, participants have agreed that the industry standard is paving the way for the future, and the time is right to move to a new model,” said Aleks Popovich, IATA Senior Vice President, Industry Distribution and Financial Services.