The New Distribution Capacity (NDC) standard will allow an airline to make sales offers to agents without them being prepared by intermediaries and this will also permit airlines both to define and price their products in any way they wish.
For customers, NDC will offer greater transparency and choice when shopping for travel as it will address the growing gap between the rich content and additional products available on airline websites and more commoditized travel options available through travel agents.
In January 2014, IATA and Open Allies (an association that includes the 3 GDSs: Amadeus, Sabre and Travelport) filed a joint motion with the US DOT concerning IATA’s Resolution 787. As a result, Open Allies has withdrawn its opposition to Resolution 787, which is the foundation document for NDC. Last month the US Department of Transportation (DOT) granted Tentative Approval to IATA Resolution 787.
During 2013, IATA facilitated 5 pilots testing some of the aspects of the new standard. In 2014, 3 new pilots have already been launched and another 3 airlines announced their intention to launch pilots at the IATA AGM in June.
IATA is also delivering “airline alignment” sessions to ensure that members fully understand the end to end process implications and opportunities of NDC for airlines.
A first set of the NDC supporting standards has been reviewed and will be ready for release in the coming weeks. In the meantime, the NDC working group continues to work on completing the set of standards and supporting an “integration” group, which will devise the standards for backward compatibility if and where required.