6.01.2018

New Distribution Capabilities
The What, Why, and When of the 'NDC'


Wouldn't it be nice to be able to do a side-by-side shopping comparison when booking your next flight? With the New Distribution Capabilities (NDC), you can, or, at least, you will. Find out the what, why, and when of the NDC, and how it will benefit you.

For more than 40 years, the technology behind airline content distribution has been relatively unchanged. Airlines have consistently provided choice of route, price, and seat availability. However, with the addition of bundled ancillary products such as WiFi, ability to pre-purchase meals, and expanded leg room, the need for a more flexible technology is required to deliver a clear view of cost vs. value. Over the past few years, there has been a lot of buzz about NDC, and now that we are starting to see some tangible relevancy, TI wants to bring our thoughts to you.

What is the NDC?

In very technical terms, the NDC is a travel industry program launched by IATA (International Air Transport Association) for the development and market adoption of a new, XML-based data standard for new content distribution. 

In practical terms, the NDC will allow users to see all purchasing details and options of flights in a side-by-side, comparative view. It is taking an antiquated booking system and updating it to fit today's technological capabilities.

What Benefit Does the NDC Provide?

The NDC will allow airlines to deliver a richer, more transparent set of purchasing options for a flight, allowing for airline digital and ancillary content, cabin class differentiations, inclusion of checked bags, booking, and ticketing - and it will do so in a consistent infrastructure across all participating carriers allowing them to be shopped in a side-by-side comparison. The business traveler will benefit as a result of the NDC's transformation of the way their air products are retailed, including:
  • Product differentiation and time-to-market
  • Access to full and rich air content
  • Transparent shopping experience
Clearly, with more options, Travel Incorporated will work with you to advise on travel policy adjustments, accommodate the bundled options, and then support effective communications to achieve the right balance of traveler productivity vs. cost.

What is the Anticipated Timeline and Dependencies?

As the NDC is reliant not only on the GDS to develop to the airline, but the airline to make its content available through the NDC standards, they are in the earliest stages of implementation. TI expects 18 months before the content is fully in place.

Travel Incorporated executives sit on the advisory boards of the travel industry's largest airlines and GDS's, which provides us a unique understanding of distribution opportunities for our clients. We will work with our partners to ensure you have the newest content to service your travel program.