Travelport has become the first GDS to be granted with both ‘Aggregator Level One’ certification and ‘IT Provider Level Two’ status by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) as part of its New Distribution Capability (NDC) programme.
For airlines, this means that Travelport is able to fully integrate with its NDC application programme interface should the airline choose to use NDC-XML messaging to distribute and deliver their fares and products.
For travel agencies and travel management companies, this means that when shopping for and booking flights via Travelport’s Travel Commerce Platform, they will have even more enhanced travel content and greater access to ancillary offers. In particular, Travelport-connected agents will be able to make ancillary sales post the original flight booking, and through their preferred agency workflows, for the first time.
Travelport has also achieved the NDC-capable ‘IT Provider’ Level Two status, making it only the second organisation – and first GDS – ever to be designated as NDC certified and NDC Capable. This further expands its NDC capabilities and means that Travelport also has the option to distribute IATA NDC offers for fares and prices on behalf of the airlines electing to use IATA’s industry standards.
Travelport has always made it clear that it recognises and fully supports the industry need to transform the way air products are retailed, and the requirement to move away from legacy systems, and has already successfully delivered its own in-house air merchandising capabilities with its award-winning Rich Content and Branding technology. This technology allows airlines to retail their full offering and brand proposition to Travelport-connected travel agencies and travel management companies around the world and over 200 airlines are already using the technology. Online travel agencies can also make this information available direct to customers via Travelport’s Universal API.
As well as driving its own merchandising innovation, Travelport has always therefore chosen to be an active participant in IATA’s NDC planning and has been a member of various working groups and steering and committees focused on NDC development. These groups include the Passenger Distribution Management Group Advisory Forum (PDMG AF), the PDMG Working Group (PDMG WG), IATA Simplifying the Business (StB) Think Tank, and the ONE Order Taskforce.
Ian Heywood, Travelport’s Global Head of Product and Marketing, Air Commerce, said: “We know the industry needs to transform the way flights are sold and IATA’s NDC is an important part of this. It very much complements the pioneering merchandising technology we launched in 2014 with our Rich Content and Branding solution that enables airlines to retail their full range of products, and extensively promote their brand, to the travel trade and corporate bookers. With this latest industry-first milestone, we are proud to maintain our leadership position.”
Yanik Hoyles, Director, New Distribution Capability (NDC) Programme, IATA, said: “We are very excited to welcome Travelport as the first GDS to join the certification programme as both Aggregator and IT Provider within our NDC programme. With basic and Offer Management messages whose schemas are compliant with the NDC schema, version 1.1.3 and 15.2, Travelport joins the fold of NDC players who are supporting airline efforts to provide full, rich content and product differentiation in the travel agent channel.”