Over the last few years in the airline industry, more attention has been given to improving the user experience, as well as the consistency of that experience across distribution channels. More specifically, IATA (International Air Transport Association) launched what it calls the NDC program, and as of late, this program has been gaining traction.
What is the NDC Program?
The NDC (New Distribution Capability) is an industry standard for the transmission of data between airlines and the travel community. It aims to address current distribution limitations, such as product differentiation and time-to-market; provide access to full and rich air content; and offer a more transparent shopping experience.
Although most airlines and GDSs (Global Distribution Systems) have had full content deals in place throughout the years (meaning that all available flights from that airline were shown in the GDS), the NDC Standard would ensure that rich and full content consistent with what is on the airline’s website is displayed through all channels.
Potentially, the same level of functionality, design, and overall user experience provided on an airline’s website could be delivered through other NDC connections.
Who’s adopting the NDC?
Over 33 airlines have openly embraced NDC by signing up for the certification and registration program, and some have even gone as far as announcing or implementing their distribution strategies.
Lufthansa has instituted a surcharge to TMCs for bookings made through the GDS, encouraging TMCs to go direct, and British Airways announced that it will be following suit this November.
American Airlines has taken a different approach by switching to a wholesale model, where they will assist in offsetting the costs TMCs will incur through implementing this new technology. The TMC may also go direct or use aggregators, including GDSs.
Many GDSs are either currently pursuing certification through the NDC program or are considering it as a possible next step.
To learn more about the NDC standard or the registration and certification programs, click here.
What does this mean for World Travel, Inc.?
Since 1983, we have built long-standing relationships throughout the travel industry. We are in communication with major airlines, GDSs, and providers of OBTs (Online Booking Tools) and other travel technology solutions to determine the course of action that will best serve the needs of our clients.
We’re open to adopting a new standard, and we have the technological capabilities and infrastructure to do so quickly and efficiently. The bottom line, though, is that we will do whatever produces the best service and experience for our clients.
NDC or not, our clients come first.
We’re also committed to keeping you informed as things progress, so be sure to stay tuned.
American Airlines will also be attending our Fall Symposium as a keynote speaker. More info. coming soon!