Amadeus has heralded a significant milestone in its involvement with the New Distribution Capability standard from IATA.
The International Air Transport Association has given the travel tech and distribution provider what is known as "Level 3 certification" for use of NDC, the current highest stage for the standard which has only been granted to "a few" organisations.
This means any airline using the existing Amadeus ALTEA system can now distribute their prices, fares and ancillary content via the NDC-XML feed to intermediaries.
Amadeus says it currently has 132 airlines contracted for both ALTEA Reservation and ALTEA Inventory. Nearly 140 carriers have signed up to its Airline Ancillary Services platform - another platform for which NDC will be a fit.
NDC was first introduced four years ago, in a bid to develop a mechanism by which airlines can push content and the ability to merchandise it to consumers
The project has not been without its detractors - but Svend Leirvaag, Amadeus's vice president of industry affairs, says its drive to meet the requirements for its airline customers illustrates a new "partnership" approach that will only benefit the aviation sector as a whole in the long-term.
"The recent progress and speed in which we have come together is a positive sign of the value of collaboration."
Leirvaag will not disclose how many of Amadeus's ALTEA-connected airlines will use the NDC standard. (There is a large difference between the opportunity to do so and actually doing it). But he estimates there will be "many who choose it".
"NDC is now where it should be," he says, "and once you get a critical mass [of adopters] you have another important reason" to be involved.
IATA senior vice president for financial and distribution services, Aleks Popovich, says:
"Technology providers such as Amadeus are showing how the NDC Standard can be used to unleash innovation and value to the air travel marketplace. We are pleased to be including this leading IT provider in our first round of NDC certification announcements."
Leirvaag says IATA "should be commended" for pushing the industry to collaborate better on the NDC project.
At least 90 airlines are expected to be using the New Distribution Capability standard by 2020, IATA claims.