11 Oct 2018

NDC Exchange builds momentum, adds new airlines, names sellers

IATA has been advocating for broader adoption of New Distribution Capability (NDC) as a common standard for the airline industry, which will allow greater retailing flexibility. It has progressed – especially as the big three travel tech firms Amadeus, Sabre, and Travelport committed to the schema.

But for the initiative to succeed in the long-term, buy-in from airlines is critical.

And ATPCO and SITA have given airline adoption a big push forward with the announcement that British Airways, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, the airlines of the LATAM Group, and Finnair will participate in their NDC Exchange platform.

Air Canada was the launch airline for the platform.

The NDC Exchange will serve as a “trusted bridge” for content between IATA’s NDC and traditional distribution methods across the airline distribution ecosystem. It is a community platform offering API connectivity between airlines and sellers (GDSs, travel agents, aggregators, OTAs, and TMCs) to exchange messages easily, supports shopping, booking, and servicing workflows and enables the cross-selling of ancillary services.

Elsewhere, Serko has announced that its “next generation” travel and expense platform Zeno is also connected to NDC Exchange.

Rich Miller, General Manager North America at corporate travel platform, Serko, said:

“By connecting to NDC Exchange we have access to these first movers, as well as other airlines as they join. By building a single connection to NDC Exchange, we are being more efficient with our development resources, letting us focus on customer experience rather than content acquisition. We’re excited about the momentum this is getting and can’t wait for the next airline.”

Serko’s involvement with NDC is not new, however. SITA said that “We have signed several sellers on the NDC Exchange, including Serko. The first seller was Verteil, which made its first booking on NDC Exchange with Air Canada on 15 July this year. We are also in talks with several others and hope to welcome them on board.”

The Exchange uses a common data model to normalize messages regardless of version or format, to support interoperability at distribution. It supports real-time XML message translation, agnostic to the individual company’s API schema or standard. Through the NDC Exchange connection, airlines have access to all connected travel sellers and vice versa.

Graham Wareham, director of products and solutions for ATPCO said:

“NDC Exchange is a unique industry platform that allows airlines and sellers to advance their NDC programs at a pace that best suits their business needs. With the addition of these five world class airlines to Air Canada, the exchange now has become a compelling part of the NDC ecosystem. With one simple connection, sellers and other airlines can easily access all five carriers.”

Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC) is providing settlement support for the NDC Exchange and Routehappy by ATPCO will support rich content to enhance retailing.

Related reading from tnooz:

tnoozLIVE@GBTA – NDC experts look ahead (Aug 2018)

Routehappy’s rich content is incorporated into NDC Exchange (March 2018)

ATPCO and SITA collaborate to build NDC Exchange to overcome barriers to NDC adoption (Oct 2017)


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