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New Distribution Capability

The foundation standard of NDC was adopted by the Passenger Service Conference on 18 October 2012 during the World Passenger Symposium in Abu Dhabi. Known as Resolution 787, this standard describes the principles of a new, customer-centric, retail distribution model for air travel products.

NDC will enable comparison shopping. The role of ‘content aggregator’ defined in the standard is precisely to process a request and to respond with a detailed comparison of airline products, not just showing the lowest fare.

NDC is based on an open standard and on XML technology. Low Cost Carriers already use such technology to connect with travel agents. NDC will enable content aggregators to interface with more airline content.

Ultimately the customer will benefit from more choice – access to more airlines – and from more transparency – access to more content from airlines.

At the World Passenger Symposium several carriers presented the way they sell products on their own website. The experience of selling fare families shows that customers, when offered choices, sometime select a price that offers the best value, not necessarily the lowest price. Retailers know that while some customers are shopping for the lowest prices, others are looking for the best value, which includes quality, service and other criteria.

NDC will bridge the gap between direct and indirect sales channels. The approach to transforming air travel distribution is truly collaborative. IATA has engaged so far with airlines – IATA and non-IATA, travel agents – online and TMCs, GDSs, IT providers, and the related associations representing them.

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