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A MODEST PROPOSAL

Travel industry groups from around the world are proposing a new collaborative model for the development of neutral and open data standards to enable enhanced distribution of airline products through any channel. The goal of the initiative is to bring the entire airline and travel industry together to develop technical standards. They will facilitate airlines to make custom offers to travellers while fully preserving robust comparison shopping across multiple carriers and protecting the privacy of consumer data.
The group includes the European Federation of Travel Agents\’ Associations (ECTAA), the European Technology & Travel Services Association (ETTSA), the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA), the Business Travel Coalition (BTC), the Consumer Travel Alliance (CTA), and the Travel Technology Association (Travel Tech).
An open invitation has been extended to IATA and other interested and relevant travel industry stakeholders, to join the multilateral initiative in a truly collaborative manner. The group indicated that it believes the new initiative could effectively end the animosity caused by IATA\’s unilaterally proposed New Distribution Capability (NDC), which has received harsh criticism from many parts of the travel industry and from regulators.
ECTAA president, Boris Zgomba commented: \”We need to join forces as a travel value chain and, together with IATA and the carriers, develop a neutral data standard that works for everyone, that enables airlines to effectively distribute rich content and that retains transparency and comparison-shopping for consumers and travel buyers.\”
ETTSA\’s secretary general, Christoph Klenner observed: \”While IATA claims NDC is such a data standard and nothing more, in reality it appears to involve a group of airlines attempting to collectively impose on buyers, consumers and travel agents a business model. That model seems to be founded on the use of opaque fares and ancillaries to make real comparison shopping difficult, if not impossible.\”
Klenner argued that \”for a data standard to be effective, it needs to be developed by all affected parties. It needs to be business model-agnostic. That\’s what this new initiative intends to achieve.\”
For more, go to http://www.ettsa.eu .

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