NDC – What’s making news?

28 May, 2018

IATA's NDC (New Distribution Capability) continues to be a focus for airlines and technology providers around the world, not to mention travel agency who are directly impacted by the technology. According to IATA, the NDC Standard is designed to enhance the capability of communications between airlines and travel agents.

It seems these days, there is almost daily news about the capability, and keeping track is getting harder and harder. Below is a snapshot of some of the key news of the last few weeks:

IATA: Corporate travel community is embracing NDC

IATA regional director financial and distribution services for the Americas Alicia Lines, speaking on CAPA TV, stated (Apr-2018) the corporate travel community is embracing the New Distribution Capability (NDC) standard. According to Ms Lines, IATA's educational campaign has helped these companies to understand how NDC can contribute to the transformation of their business and how it will impact their operations, how they can enhance the services they provide to their customers, as well as offering a level playing field with direct sales.

Qantas launches Qantas Distribution Platform

Qantas launched (22-May-2018) a new technology platform to enhance the airline retailing, booking and servicing capabilities for its trade partners. The Qantas Distribution Platform (QDP) improves the functionality of indirect agent channels by more closely aligning them with the capabilities currently available via qantas.com. Qantas trade partners will have access to richer content including images of cabins and meals and the ability to book extras such as Extra Legroom seating. It will also provide Qantas Frequent Flyer information and tier status at the point of sale. QDP has been developed in partnership with Farelogix Inc and utilises IATA's New Distribution Capability (NDC). The new Qantas platform has been certified to NDC Level 3. Trade partners are able to access the QDP either via approved partner connections, or directly by developing a connection to Qantas' NDC XML Application Program Interface.

Serko has partnered with Qantas to achieve NDC Level 3 Certification

Serko announced (23-May-2018) 'Zeno', its next generation technology for travel and expense management, has been granted Level 3 Certification by IATA for native support of New Distribution Capability (NDC) with Qantas. Zeno becomes the first travel and expense platform globally to achieve this level of accreditation. Serko has entered into a strategic partnership with Qantas to enable NDC certification for Zeno.

Lufthansa signs NDC partnership agreement with Travix

Deutsche Lufthansa AG signed (17-May-2018) a multi year agreement with Travix connecting the online travel agency to Lufthansa's NDC offer and order management system as part of Lufthansa's upcoming NDC partner programme. The agreement will provide Travix customers with cheaper, increased transparency ticket offerings and ancillary content from Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Lufthansa and SWISS, only available through NDC based distribution channels.

Vueling obtains NDC lv3 certification

Vueling, via its official LinkedIn account, announced (17-May-2018) it obtained NDC lv3 certification, reinforcing IAG's position at the forefront of the move to the new XML-based data transmission standard, enabling agencies and technology providers to receive inventory directly from the airline and overcoming some of the limitations of traditional distribution systems.

Mezi: NDC is old technology, adoption needs to speed up

Mezi VP travel strategy and partnerships Johnny Thorsen, speaking at the CAPA Airline Leader Summit, stated (17-May-2018) it is a paradox to say 'new' in new distribution technology (NDC), with the technology based on a "12 year old product". Mr Thorsen said to airlines: "You need to speed it up", adding he is hopeful goals set for 2020 are "blown out of the water".