Embracing NDC

The retail travel trade need not fear IATA’s New Distribution Capability (NDC) currently being beta-tested by the first batch of member airlines.

In fact, they should be wholeheartedly embracing the new XML internet transmission standard since it puts them on an equal sales footing with carrier web sites, reports Montreal editor, Mike Dunbar in this week’s digital edition of Canadian Travel Press.

And, if the Internet had been around in the 1960s, the airlines would not have developed the computer reservations systems that are still – 40 years or so later – being used as the primary booking tool by the indirect sales channel.

That was the clear message delivered by NDC program director Yanik Hoyles during a one-day media blitz at IATA headquarters in Geneva.

According to Hoyles “airlines were ahead of the curve when they developed their distribution networks. They built the original CRSs in the ’60s, providing them to travel agents in the ’70s, giving them access to airline res systems.”

He noted, “Today, approximately 60% of ticket sales by value are sold by travel agents, travel management companies and online travel agencies.”

But Hoyles cautioned, “You would never design this proprietary, single-use network if the Internet existed at the time. The legacy network powering the indirect model is based on pre-Internet data transmission standards which have extremely limited capabilities, few off-the-shelf applications and even fewer developers working on them.”

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