Technology is at the forefront of every industry today. And, the aviation industry is no exception! New technologies enable us to do things differently in a more efficient, personalized and customer-centric manner. New Distribution Capability (NDC) is the popular entrant in the era of technology that aims to bridge the gap between the airlines and travel agents, OTAs, TMCs & travel consultants. ITQ through its partnership with Travelport is the front runner in using this program in India.
Why the Need for NDC:
The airline industry has been developing NDC since 2012. Travelport recognized the need of airlines to display their wide range of airfares and ancillaries in an interactive, personalized and engaging way for indirect sales, similar to the way it is presented on their websites. Also, the desire of airlines to have more control over their content and to improve their sales capabilities led to the need for NDC in the travel industry.
What actually NDC is?
New Distribution Capability (NDC) is a travel industry-supported program from IATA. This fresh distribution platform:
• Enables development and market adoption of a new, XML-based data transmission standard (NDC Standard)
• Improves communications capability between airlines and travel agents
• Is available to any third party, intermediary, IT provider or non-IATA member, to implement and use
• 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
• Provides product differentiation and time-to-market, access to full and rich air content along with transparent shopping experience
Developments in NDC Roadmap
In December 2017, Travelport was the first and is still the only GDS operator to achieve IATA’s highest certification as an NDC Level 3 Aggregator. This status is mandatory for any organization looking to render the essential offer and order management functions.
In February 2018, Travelport unveiled its product roadmap to extend its content offering to airline customers using the IATA's New Distribution Capability (NDC) standard. This enabled the travel agency customers to access such content via Travelport’s platform.
Later, in October 2018, a UK-based travel agency Meon Valley became the first NDC customer to manage the live booking using NDC technical standard via Travelport’s Smartpoint desktop. This first live booking solution gave insights on agent familiarity and consistency with present booking tools, existing and future workflow.
Garnering the important feedback from its customers, on 30th January 2019, Travelport announced the successful onboarding of its first wave of travel agencies to receive access to NDC content. The first group of NDC customers include American Express Global Business Travel, DNATA, Gray Dawes Group, Global Travel Management, Meon Valley Travel, Premier Holidays, TAG, Travel Counsellors and Travel & Transport Statesman. Following this phase of implementation, Travelport will continue to fine-tune its NDC booking solution along with improvements in Smartpoint and API based NDC connection channel using Travelport’s Trip Service API.