Adoption rates highlight NDC benefits

New Distribution Capability (NDC) continues to enjoy impressive adoption rates.

As of end September 2017, 43 airlines had achieved NDC certification, demonstrating the ability to send and receive NDC messages that will enable them to display rich product content in travel agency channels.

Importantly, partners throughout the travel value chain are also seeing the benefits of engaging with NDC.

These are exciting times as we see the big players taking bold steps on our efforts to build airline retailing

Global travel technology giant Sabre made headlines this month when it announced a roadmap to achieve Level 2 and Level 3 certification for its global distribution system (GDS) in 2018. It is already Level 1 compliant.

“NDC started the public conversation about building out a new level of technology standards that enable airlines to offer more customized products and services, indicative of the branded fares, ancillary services, and digital retailing trends that characterize air travel today,” says Sean Menke, Sabre President and CEO.

“We are fully committed not only to incorporating NDC standards, but also giving them broader application so that airlines, agencies, and consumers will get the full benefit of what NDC intends to accomplish.”

“GDSs are fundamental business partners for airlines and other travel providers,” says Yanik Hoyles, Director NDC Program, IATA.

“These are exciting times as we see the big players taking bold steps on our efforts to build airline retailing, together.”

Meanwhile, American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) is working with British Airways, Iberia and GDSs to evaluate NDC and its applicability to managed travel programs.

Stephen Humphreys, British Airways Global Head of Sales, says that corporate customers will reap the rewards of the NDC standard.

“We look forward to working closely with American Express GBT and the GDSs on developing NDC implementation plans,” he notes.

Hoyles says the focus of the program is turning toward increasing the volume of NDC-supported transactions.

The 17.2 version of the NDC standard is a critical milestone

Release of the latest version of the standard NDC 17.2 should help. Hoyles notes that future releases, which occur twice yearly, will be evolutionary, not revolutionary.

“The 17.2 version of the NDC standard is a critical milestone as it is a robust standard upon which the next versions will build in a phased manner,” says Hoyles.

“IT providers have been waiting for this opportunity to either start their build or to update their current deployments.”

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