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NDC Pilots, what are they all about?

NDC Pilots kicked off in February 2013 and are expected to last until the end of 2014. But how clear are we on the concept, stages, participants or other relevant details related to a pilot?

Here's some general information on the NDC Pilots:

NDC business requirements and XML schemas are validated or fine-tuned in a variety of real-life scenarios through the pilots. Participants can actually choose the real-life scenarios they want to bring to this environment.

At present, five pilots are underway and are expected to deliver key insights. More pilots are in the pipeline. Pilot coverage ranges from general seat availability to more complex scenarios including ancillary options and other areas such as airline profile (how aggregators and agents know what the airline’s NDC capabilities are) and non-functional aspects.

A mix of different industry stakeholders is required for each pilot. These are the participants in the current pilots:


 Aggregator/IT provider


 American Airlines  JR Technologies  US Consolidator
 Air New Zealand  JR Technologies  US Consolidator
 Hainan Airlines  Travelsky  CTBA (Chinese OTA)
 China Southern Airlines  Travelsky  Ctrip (Chinese OTA)
 Swiss  Datalex, PROS and HP  

What do pilot participants think?

  • George Khairallah, President, JR Technologies says: “The IATA NDC program is bringing new concepts to the travel distribution arena and we are excited to be at the forefront of these developments. Working with pilots lets us experiment with the messages before they become the standard. The knowledge base we get from the lab is far superior to knowledge we would get from the implementation of a standard.”
  • Travelsky states: “As an IT provider/GDS we are excited with the chance to embrace NDC by participating in the pilot. NDC is setting up a new business model in the travel industry which ultimately benefits customers by providing access to more products in a more transparent way”.
  • Timothy O'Neil-Dunne, Acting CTO of Lute Technologies (organization in the pilot pipeline) claims: “We recognized that the model for travel retailing has changed forever. There is no homogeneity possible because the airlines believe that their products have to be and indeed are differentiated. The consumer expects a richer shopping experience and demands access to information not currently available through current intermediary systems. The only way to do this is to take the NDC standard and apply it. We are dealing realistically with different commercial models and different technologies. Using NDC we are able to accelerate our business while still retaining the ability to service traditional outlets.

If you want to become one of the pioneers to help shape the development of NDC , register here.

For more details on pilots, please visit our dedicated website or go through the NDC Pilot FAQs


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