Critical Mass

Air Canada is playing a leading role in the ongoing development of IATA’s New Distribution Capability (NDC) initiative. Along with fellow North America carriers United, jetBlue and American as well as 17 other members from around the globe, AC has been designated a `Leaderboard’ airline, tasked with steering the NDC journey to critical mass by the end of 2020.

According to Eric Leopold, the association’s transformation director of financial and distribution services, the Leaderboard group currently accounts for 30% of IATA passengers carried, plus, they want to have 20% of their indirect transactions coming from their NDC application programming interface (API) by late next year.

He noted: “Airlines are being open about their commitment to NDC and, as a result, other value chain players such as technology providers, GDSs, travel agents and travel buyers, see the opportunity to embark on this journey and to also invest in the future.”

And he stressed: “This approach is not just about the Leaderboard airlines. To achieve the 20% critical mass they will have to break down the major barriers to adoption; sort out the technology and agree new commercial terms with their partners, since there will be new value coming through the chain.” Leopold stated: “As a consequence, when the `followers’ then choose to embark on a similar journey, the access to the NDC eco-system will be much easier, faster and more cost effective.”

For the full story, check out this week’s digital edition of Canadian Travel Press.