Let The Journey Begin

IATA has charted the upcoming journey to New Distribution Capability (NDC) adoption by a majority of member airlines by highlighting the experience thus far of a core group of carriers – including Air Canada – which have already embraced the program, reports Quebec editor, Mike Dunbar in this week’s digital edition of Canadian Travel Press.

Yanik Hoyles, the association’s NDC director told a recent Geneva press briefing, “In order to pave the way to critical mass, IATA has set up an NDC Leaderboard of 21 airlines which, collectively, carry 30% of all IATA passengers and which aspire to having at least 20% of their indirect transactions via travel agents coming from their NDC application by the end of 2020.”

In effect, the 21 Leaderboard carriers will be providing leadership to other airline followers which will have a roadmap to NDC, explained Hoyles.

He offered, “This is excellent news as the 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 buyers see the opportunity to embark on this journey and to also invest in the future.”

The Geneva-based exec stressed, “This approach is not just about the Leaderboard airlines. To achieve the 20% critical mass they will have had to break down the major barriers to adoption; sort out the technology and agree new commercial terms with their partners.”

And he revealed, “From what we have heard from several of the airlines, we are very confident this target will be reached, while some will exceed it. As a consequence, when the followers choose to embark on a similar journey, the access to the NDC eco-system will be much easier, faster and more cost-effective.”

Explaining the need for NDC, Hoyles stated, “The value chain is constrained today and customers, travel agents and airlines are the victims of an outdated standard and technology capability.”

He added, “The customer experience is not consistent depending on where people search for travel and not rich when shopping through travel agents, who can’t easily access many airline products that are available on carriers’ own websites.”

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