IATA plans to run pilot schemes for its New Distribution Capability standard by the end of the year, the association’s chief has confirmed.
Speaking at the World Passenger Symposium in Dublin, Tony Tyler (pictured), IATA director general and chief executive, said approval by the US Department of Transportation for trials of the internet-based system were due in the next few months.
“We are optimistic of a positive outcome in the fourth quarter that will permit adoption of schemas under development,” he said. “Meanwhile, we are encouraging airlines, travel agents and technology providers to join the pilot phase which is expected to continue through 2014.”
IATA hopes NDC will become the standard adopted by airlines for sales through TMCs and agents. Currently, add-on extras such as lounge access and extra legroom seats are more easily accessible direct on airline websites, but IATA wants all third parties, including GDSs, to access the same content and redistribute it on the airlines’ behalf.
Tyler said the gap existed because “distribution via travel agents is built on pre-internet messaging standards”, which NDC would close.
“The NDC standard will unleash innovation—and that will mean change. But, by giving travel agents more information, there will be greater transparency.”