The International Air Transport Association Passenger Services Conference has adopted a resolution on a Foundation Standard for a New Distribution Capability during a meeting at the World Passenger Symposium in Abu Dhabi.
IATA claims that 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 through travel agencies using global distribution systems. With the NDC, airlines will be able to recognise these customers and therefore provide tailored offerings, as they already can for those customers who go directly to airline websites.
IATA also claims that the standard is “the culmination of 12 months of intense co-ordination 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 organisations”. However, some travel agency organisations, including ECTAA and ASTA, have criticised the lack of consultation.
The NDC will create a set of open XML standards to modernise airline retailing by enabling innovation in the way airline products are distributed, and making possible personalised offers to passengers who will have access to all airline products and services regardless of distribution channel.