New Distribution Capabilities promise big changes, and travel policies are evolving to keep up
By Mark Rowh
IATA’s New Distribution Capabilities standard is no longer new. In fact it seems here to stay, and as NDC along with other booking trends reshape air travel buying habits, corporate air travel policies will need to adapt. Just exactly what that means though, remains to be seen.
Certainly, involvement by major players is on the increase. Yanik Hoyles, IATA’s director, NDC program, says progress has been significant over the past year, with all three GDSs having followed through on their 2017 commitments to achieve NDC level 3 certification.
“The NDC leaderboard of 21 airlines is firmly established,” he says, adding that it’s driving toward achieving a critical mass of NDC transactions by the end of 2020 and is now up to 65 live NDC deployments by airlines.
IATA has announced two new levels of NDC certification to be introduced as of March 2019, Hoyles says. NDC@Scale, a new certification for airlines, is a set of criteria to demonstrate whether airlines (and their IT providers) have a minimum suite of recognized capabilities to drive volumes of NDC transactions toward 2020. And Level 4 certification recognizes full offer and order management and will include additional servicing messages.