IATA's recent World Passenger Symposium (WPS) 2015 in Hamburg featured extensive discussion, debate and information sharing around the New Distribution Capability (NDC) among the more than 730 air travel professionals in attendance.
NB This is a viewpoint by Yanik Hoyles, director of the NDC programme at IATA.
The timing could not have been better, given that the first official release of the NDC Standard (PADIS 15.2) took place in early September.
Click here to access the IATA's dedicated channel on YouTube, featuring a selection of video highlights of some of the key sessions.
Meanwhile, here are some of the forward-looking highlights from WPS:
The future, as seen by consumers
We presented the results of a survey of some 5,000 business and leisure travelers. NDC: How Consumers View the Future confirmed that passengers would welcome the richer travel shopping experience enabled by NDC.
The survey, which was conducted on IATA’s behalf by Atmosphere Research Group. Survey participants were shown examples of how NDC can be used to support an improved experience when shopping for air travel online.
Atmosphere's co-founder, Henry Harteveldt, presenting the results at WPS, and said:
“Almost 80% of survey participants said NDC would make it easier for them to compare flights, available services and prices compared to how they shop for flights today.”
The future, as seen by travel agents
Travel agents were also surveyed on NDC. The agent community is looking forward to the opportunities NDC will bring and is keen to find out more.
NDC: Travel Agencies’ Enabler to Success was conducted with select members of the World Travel Agents Associations Alliance (WTAAA).
Otto de Vries, CEO of the Association of South African Travel Agent (ASATA) told WPS attendees:
“This is not an endorsement of NDC; however, it is a meaningful path for agents to sell ancillaries as they serve and support their clients...Agents have limited awareness of NDC but they believe it offers value and promise that can help them be more competitive.”
IATA partnered with members of WTAAA based in Australia, Brazil, Canada, India, New Zealand, South Africa and the USA for the production of this study, which was conducted by Atmosphere Research Group and T2 Impact.
The future, as seen by developers
In partnership with Tnooz, we held the first NDC Hackathon to test and develop passenger-friendly applications incorporating the NDC standards.
The event gathered close to 100 developers who, in 24 hours, were able to demonstrate innovation in the area of airline merchandizing, using an “IATA-NDC” sandbox – in combination with other partners such as Jet Messaging Technologies, SITA, Airbus, Hotelbeds, IBM, HP, Make it Social and Sabre.
Here's a video to give you an idea about the Hackathon
We shared the results of their efforts in a special session at WPS.
The future, as seen by investors
One year after the launch of the NDC Innovation Fund, a strategic investment fund supporting innovation in airline distribution using the NDC standard, the first investment was announced. The fund will invest in Executive Travel App for ETA Inc.
ETA is a Silicon Valley-based start-up developing a mobile application to support seamless travel shopping, buying and management for the $120 billion self-managed travel market.
As part of the investment, ETA has committed to supporting the delivery of rich NDC-based content via its mobile platform.
View the announcement of the investment and ETA’s demo.
The future, as discussed by our working groups
In parallel with WPS, we took the opportunity to hold industry forums such as the Data Exchange Working Group and the Travel Manager Advisory Group (TMAG) with Europe-based buyers, to leverage on the opportunity of having so many participants in one location.
The future, validated
Finally, IATA launched the NDC Certification Program to provide transparency on the existing NDC deployments of airlines, agents and aggregators, as well as to validate the capability of supporting IT providers.
Claude Muller, head of NDC technology and architecture, went through the details of a three-tier format certification.
Click here for details
WPS and the events around it marked a new stage in the progress of the NDC Standard toward wide scale implementation. The opportunities it will create for travelers and the travel value chain are becoming more broadly understood and shared.
The challenge now is to channel all the positive energy and momentum from WPS to continue to take NDC forward.
To be continued…
NB This is a viewpoint by Yanik Hoyles, director of the NDC programme at IATA. It appears here as part of Tnooz's sponsored content initiative.