Travelport, the leading Travel Commerce Platform, was certified by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) today as a “Level 3” aggregator under IATA’s New Distribution Capability (NDC) initiative intended to create a new distribution standard for the airline industry.
Travelport is now the first global distribution system (GDS) travel commerce platform to acquire such status and will work with airline technology specialist Farelogix to implement the first such NDC connection with a major global airline, details of which will be announced soon. To prepare for this certification, Travelport worked with the UK travel agency Meon Valley Travel.
Colin Boddy, Corporate Director of Meon Valley Travel, said “We pride ourselves on deploying leading-edge technology throughout our business, so we are naturally delighted to have been instrumental in deploying this innovative development which has global significance for the travel industry.”
Derek Sharp, Travelport’s Senior VP and MD of Air Commerce at TravelPort said “We are grateful to IATA for this recognition and delighted to be the first travel commerce platform to now be fully NDC-Certified for the multisource era in distribution. We already connect travel buyers through the airline database ATPCo to more than 280 ancillaries. This NDC status will complement that.”
What is NDC?
Travel Management companies (TMC’s) currently use a Global Distribution System (GDS) to view and book flights. It is an outdated system and in an industry where ancillaries and personalised travel is so important, it needed to be modernised. The replacement for GDS is called New Distribution Capability (NDC) and it will allow TMC’s (such as Meon) to book products that are important to our customers, such as early boarding, extra legroom, preferred seating or extra baggage (where the airline offers it) in a more seamless way.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is the trade association for the world’s airlines and in its summary of NDC it says it ‘will enable the travel industry to transform the way air products are retailed to corporations, leisure and business travellers, by addressing the industry’s current distribution limitations.’
Are any airlines on board?
In short, yes. 113 airlines have plans to or have already deployed NDC – British Airways, Iberia, Lufthansa, Etihad and Qatar to name a few of the big airlines on board. The mass roll out will start in 2018 and by 2020 over 80% of NDC capable airlines will have deployed NDC.