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Agent Participation in NDC Development

  • The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has been engaging the travel agent community in the development of the New Distribution Capability (NDC) standard.
  • This engagement has been done directly with agents, as well as with agent associations.  The aim is to better understand travel agent concerns, and to raise awareness of the NDC initiative.
    • Expedia, which is a member of the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA), attended the July NDC workshop at IATA in Geneva.
    • IATA had attended ASTA’s Travel Retailing and Destination Expo in September and presented about NDC.
    • IATA invited the European Travel Agents’ and Tour Operators’ Association (ECTAA) to an NDC meeting in September in Geneva.
    • The Guild of European Business Travel (GEBTA) invited IATA to its Board meeting for an NDC presentation in October in Brussels.
    • IATA gave a presentation on NDC to the Agency Solutions Technical Working Group (ASTWG) met in September.  ASTWG includes airlines, agents and systems providers.  ECTAA was present at the meeting. 
    • IATA gave an update on NDC at the Passenger Agency Program Global Joint Council (PAPGJC) in Abu Dhabi in October.  The World Travel Agents Associations Alliance (WTAAA), the United Federation of Travel Agents’ Associations (UFTAA), ECTAA and GEBTA were present at the PAPGJC meeting. 
  • The development of the NDC standards involves participation of the travel agents directly instead of through their agent associations. 
    • The expertise needed for the standard development is often found with the travel agent and not the agent associations.
    • In fact, ECTAA has proposed that two of their member agents attend the next NDC workshop in Montreal in November. IATA accepted and invited them. These two agents are now actively participating in the Working Group.
  • IATA encourages and welcomes travel agents to participate in the NDC working group and contribute to the development of NDC standards.

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