Published on : Tuesday, June 3, 2014
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced new pilot programs to test the New Distribution Capability (NDC) schemas. First-time pilot participants include Aeroflot, Aer Lingus and Qatar Airways, while JR Technologies (JRT) is conducting its second pilot.
NDC is a travel industry-supported program launched by IATA for the development and market adoption of a new, XML-based data transmission standard. NDC will enable the travel industry to transform the way air products are retailed to corporations, leisure and business travelers, by addressing the industry’s current distribution limitations: product differentiation and time-to-market, access to full and rich air content and finally, transparent shopping experience.
“We are delighted to be the first Middle East airline to launch an NDC pilot,” said Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer, His Excellency Akbar Al Baker. “We believe that given our position as a leading full service carrier, Qatar Airways will be able to benefit significantly from NDC features as this will enable us to better showcase the value of our five-star product offering to our passengers.”
This is the second NDC pilot for JRT. In 2013, JRT participated in pilots with American Airlines and Air New Zealand. This time, JRT will pilot a live implementation of an NDC Aggregator platform. American Airlines and Air Canada, among others, will join this demonstration.
“We want to help all the players in the airline distribution value chain wrap their arms around NDC. We hope they will all benefit from this exercise” said George Khairallah, President of JRT.
On 21 May 2014, the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) tentatively approved Resolution 787, which is the foundation document for NDC. In its decision, DOT said, “the use of common technical standards could facilitate the marketplace development of distribution practices and channels that would make it easier for consumers to compare competing carriers’ fares and ancillary products across multiple distribution channels, make purchasing more convenient, allow carriers to customize service and amenity offers, and increase transparency, efficiency, and competition.”
“We welcome the participation of Aer Lingus, Aeroflot, and Qatar Airways, as well as JR Technologies. The new pilots will support the development of the NDC standard to modernize the way that airline products are presented through travel agents and help to promote efficiency, and innovation,” said IATA Director General and CEO Tony Tyler.
The NDC pilot program was launched in 2013 with pilots involving American Airlines, Air New Zealand, Hainan Airlines, China Southern Airlines and Swiss International Air Lines. Earlier this year, additional pilots were launched by Shandong Airlines and Air Canada.