IATA only started to engage on NDC with ECTAA and other travel agent trade associations, despite their repeated requests to be involved since June 2012.
“While a single standard to improve 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 president of ECTAA, Boris ZGOMBA. A salient point of NDC is that airlines would no longer file their fares in GDSs. NDC is also encroaching upon ownership of customer information and PNR.
The project raises numerous questions, notably on potentially huge costs. To apply the NDC model, an airline would need to develop an interactive pricing and availability engine. Many airlines are unlikely to have the means to make such investments and could be left aside. Aggregators and travel agents would need to redevelop their whole systems and processes to accommodate for NDC distribution and to coordinate NDC with remaining fare filing distribution model.
For consumers, transparency is at stake. ECTAA sees a number of unanswered questions with NDC, which need to be carefully analysed, including with regard to EU legislation on the use of CRSs, air ticket transparency, data protection and competition.