Agents' Choice 2020

IATA takes the initiative

During its 68th AGM in Beijing, IATA — along with the Airline Reporting Corporation (ARC) — launched the Direct Data Service (DDS), describing it as an evolution of its PaxIS product into a “more powerful business intelligence offering.” And the association noted as well that the understanding of travel patterns facilitated by PaxIS is already helping airlines, airports, governments, and tourism businesses among other customers. In order to move beyond the relentless legal challenges by GDSs to PaxIS (primarily concerning data control), over the last two years, IATA worked to obtain airline data directly from the airlines themselves. In addition to what is provided in the PaxIS product, DDS will also offer direct sales data for airlines that have chosen to provide this. DDS is a more powerful business intelligence tool than PaxIS or the combined capabilities of MIDT data products. DDS is now available for purchase by the participating carriers. Only airlines that contribute their data are able to subscribe to DDS, which contains 76% of the total data for global indirect sales. There are commitments from airlines to build this quickly, and we expect to reach 85% coverage of indirect sales data by year end and then on to 90% early in 2013. As well IATA’s director general, Tony Tyler announced that the foundation standard for a new distribution capability (NDC) will be proposed to the Joint IATA-Airlines for America Passenger Services Conference taking place at the World Passenger Symposium for approval. This will take place during the week of Oct. 15, 2012 in Abu Dhabi. The NDC will address the airline requirements for innovation in global distribution. This includes greater product differentiation than is currently available through GDSs, which facilitate ticket sales through travel agents that are responsible for some 60% of airline ticket sales. Developing NDC was a priority set by the IATA Board of Governors in December 2011. The foundation standard will set the vision and framework for the development of a complete set of NDC standards in the years to follow. Said Tyler: “Multi-million dollar airline product investments cannot break free of product descriptions limited to booking classes like F, C, or Y and their derivatives. And personalized offers based on availability, customer needs, preferences or histories are effectively impractical.” He continued: “We will complete the definition of the NDC foundation standard this year. And I am confident that the GDSs will join as partners because progress cannot wait. I am also confident that the new platform will unleash innovation and new entrants that will revolutionize airline relationships with their customers. It will also impact IATA. In parallel with developing the foundation standard, we are evaluating what other innovations IATA can offer to ensure that we are delivering the greatest value in this area.” Go http://www.iata.org .

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