IATA New Distribution Capability
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NDC (New Distribution Capability) is an XML-based data transmission standard promoted by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) that enhances the capability of communications between airlines and travel agents. IATA NDC was approved in October 2012 by IATA followed by the US DOT approval in August 2014 and with IATA delivering the first set of official standards on 1 September 2015.
The NDC Standard enables the travel industry to transform the way air products are retailed to corporations, leisure and business travelers, by addressing the industry’s current distribution limitations.
The 79,000 Travel Agents across the world account for about 60% of the value of all travel sold. The information passed to the travel agents are restricted to price and schedule. Since travel agents use systems with pre-internet messaging standards they do not have access to the same information and services that are being offered by the airlines through their website.
IATA Resolution 787 clearly defines the scope of New Distribution Capability. NDC enable airlines to respond directly to shopping requests from travel agents, manage order processing and enables true comparison shopping. NDC is not a system or a software or a database but it's only a standard to exchange information between airlines and travel agents. It's the various IT Providers who make it into systems and software.
The NDC Certification Program managed by IATA confirms the scope and level of a particular organization's capability to provide NDC applications, receive and send NDC messages. The Certification Program validates that the NDC messages and application accurately follows the relevant version of the applicable NDC schemas and confirm the certification level. IATA is the only industry body that manages the NDC message validation and certification process.
Following are named some airlines who has already deployed an NDC based solution or working on launching a solution to address the same.
According to independent reviews NDC was designed to give airlines inventory data control while the true limitations are rooted in the fact that buyers do not control client and traveler data. With a few exceptions, travel agencies do not control their own client data today, as it is stored within the global distribution systems in a proprietary and mostly unstructured format. Any "new distribution capability" must first solve the problem of unstructured traveler data. This is not addressed by NDC. A standard in travel that has already been widely adapted are the OpenTravel XML formats which also address airline ticket distribution.
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