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IATA members reaffirmed support for New Distribution Capability

4-Jun-2013 10:03 AM

IATA members reaffirmed (03-Jun-2013) their support for the New Distribution Capability (NDC) initiative at the association's annual general meeting (AGM). IATA stated this will develop an open, XML-based distribution standard for data exchange between airlines and travel agents. IATA members agreed that, “consumers will benefit from being able to make choices based on enriched content and the ability to compare and transact airline offers in a transparent fashion.” IATA stated consumers already have the ability to view rich content when they visit many airline websites, but in most cases, however, travel agents do not have access to the same information and services through their systems. The XML-based NDC standard will close this merchandising gap, providing consumers with the same shopping experience regardless of how and where they do their travel shopping. The AGM resolution affirmed that NDC will support current shopping methods, including the ability for consumers to compare base fares and to do so without identifying themselves (“anonymous shopping”). The AGM resolution also noted that consumers will be protected by data privacy protection laws and regulations regardless of how and where they choose to purchase air travel. Additionally, members confirmed that airlines and other industry players will be free to decide whether or not to adopt NDC to support some or all of their distribution needs, and that IATA would continue to support the existing legacy standard while demand for it exists. IATA argued that NDC will not bypass travel agents, instead it will enable them to sell all of what airlines have on offer, and will not eliminate comparison shopping, but will give customers better information on which to make decisions. [more - original PR]