Accelya, a provider of travel software and technology, announced it will now enable American Airlines to make unused EDIFACT tickets exchangeable through New Distribution Capability (NDC)-based connections. (EDIFACT is the abbreviation for “Electronic Data Interchange for Administration, Commerce and Transport,” a global set of rules defined by the UN for the inter-company electronic data exchange between two or more business partners.)
The initiative, according to the announcement, responds to a commonly reported challenge from travel management companies (TMCs), many of which are still dependent on Global Distribution Systems (GDS) that use the legacy EDIFACT messaging standard for information exchange.

Until now, according to the announcement, the inability to exchange unused GDS EDIFACT tickets has been a key barrier for TMCs wanting to leverage the benefits of NDC-based distribution. In turn, the lack of this functionality has complicated NDC adoption across the industry.

Following rigorous testing, said the announcement, Accelya’s solution was able to obtain access to tickets issued via EDIFACT through the GDS using the airline’s API, as well as submit the extracted fare information to its shopping provider in order to obtain a price for the exchange.

The new functionality can be implemented for any other NDC-enabled carrier, as long as it is able to provide access to GDS-issued legacy tickets from its host system. This will allow travel sellers to conveniently exchange unused EDIFACT tickets and will in turn help airlines accelerate their transition to NDC.

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Tye Radcliffe, senior vice president of product strategy for the Order Group at Accelya, said that after discussions with the TMC community and American Airlines, “we very quickly picked up the mantle and worked tirelessly to bring this new capability to the market.” Having worked closely with American Airlines since the start of its NDC journey, he said, “it was clear that their innovative spirit aligned well with our pioneering spirit — making them a natural partner to help us move the whole industry further, faster.”