Several travel trade associations have raised concerns of IATA’s New Distribution Capability (NDC) after only involving travel agents late in its launch process.
The European Travel Agents’ and Tour Operators’ Associations (ECTAA), American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) and Business Travel Coalition (BTC) said IATA had only contacted travel agents last month in regards to its NDC project despite calls to include their views in June. ECTAA has raised questions over the new system as it would see travel agents issue a request with airlines and not book through GDS.
The cost of the new system was also questioned as it will require airlines to invest in pricing and availability tools, while agents will need to adapt their systems to accommodate the new feed. It added that there could be some issues for interlining and codesharing flights and said that while making more airline products available was positive, it would not be able to pre-empt an airlines commercial policy or could damage the current comparison shopping available.
Originally plans were drawn up by IATA and some airlines, which are expected to be submitted in the next two days.
“While a single standard to improve the distribution of ancillary services could be beneficial for the whole distribution chain, we feel there has been no consultation on whether NDC is the appropriate model”, said Boris Zgomba, president of ECTAA.
ASTA and BTC backed the claim, saying IATA had offered to be open to discussion yet has not allowed associations to get involved in talks. IATA has said the process was collaborative.