Amadeus has announced the creation of a dedicated NDC-X programme to drive the industrialisation of IATA’s New Distribution Capability (NDC).
Amadeus says its NDC-X programme will bring together experts from across the company to focus on practical use cases of NDC, an XML-based data transmission standard set to change airline distribution and merchandising.
Through the programme, Amadeus will also adopt a test and learn approach to deliver improved capabilities for the industry.
The initiative is a continuation of the company’s efforts to digitalise airline distribution and create new commercial possibilities to build on the new technology standard.
Gianni Pisanello, who has held a variety of leadership roles within Amadeus’ airlines business, both on the IT and the distribution side, will lead the new NDC-X programme.
“We are at a critical moment in terms of the development of the standard, and the readiness of the industry,” said Pisanello. “For NDC to truly take off, we need to create a real standard not only for the protocol itself, but also for how it’s implemented. We also need to ensure that it responds to travel seller requirements, and that it has the right economics to drive investment.”
Julia Sattel, senior vice president, airlines, added that Amadeus is working to solve its airline customers’ technology challenges in areas such as merchandising, dynamic pricing and cloud servicing, “which we see as the heavy machinery in the background which will make NDC and improved retailing a reality”.
Amadeus’ move came just a day after Travelport unveiled product plans to enable airlines and agents in the NDC era.
These products will allow travel agencies to connect through Travelport’s platform in a single workflow combining traditional content and new NDC content.
Travelport plans to include NDC content within an initial set of products, including an industrialised connection for airlines that connects via NDC-standard APIs and a Point of Sale companion application for travel agencies that offers NDC-enabled content alongside the GDS workflow in the Smartpoint desktop.
This integrated app is expected to be launched in 2H2018. This will be followed by a first fully integrated search, book and manage function, combining NDC-connected content and GDS content in the same workflow, which will be delivered via Travelport solutions including its
The first among the distribution companies to achieve IATA’s certification as an NDC Level 3 Aggregator in December 2017, Travelport says it will announce its first NDC-enabled airline partnerships very soon.