More airline majors sign-up and add weight to the SITA and ATPCO NDC Exchange platform

In Aug-2018 Air Canada became the first global airline to process a NDC (New Distribution Capability) production transaction via the NDC Exchange platform developed by the Airline Tariff Publishing Company (ATPCO) and SITA. Now, major airline brands such as British Airways, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, the carriers of the LATAM Airlines group and Finnair have all confirmed plans to participate in the community platform.


Summary:

  • ATPCO and SITA significantly grow the NDC Exchange platform that enables content interoperability across the airline distribution ecosystem;
  • British Airways, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, the carriers of the LATAM Airlines group and Finnair will participate in the community platform;
  • NDC Exchange enables API connectivity between airlines and sellers (GDSs, travel agents, aggregators, OTAs, and TMCs);
  • It supports shopping, booking, and servicing workflows and enables the cross-selling of ancillary services between airlines, and airlines and sellers.

The air transport industry is experiencing an evolution in the distribution of airline content and Air Canada was the launch customer for the platform that simplifies the adoption of the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) NDC standard and which enables airline to connect directly to a new distribution ecosystem.

ATPCO and SITA “see exponential growth ahead” for the joint exchange as they confirmed this week that that British Airways, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, the airlines of the LATAM Group, and Finnair will all participate in NDC Exchange that enables content interoperability across the airline distribution ecosystem and acts as a bridge between IATA’s NDC (New Distribution Capability) and traditional distribution methods.

NDC is a new standard aimed at enabling the travel industry to transform the way services are retailed to corporations as well as leisure and business travellers. It provides greater product differentiation, quicker time-to-market, access to full and rich content and delivers a more transparent shopping experience. The NDC Exchange community platform facilitates the real-time NDC connectivity between airlines and sellers (GDSs, travel agents, aggregators, OTAs, and TMCs) so that they can exchange NDC messages easily and cost effectively.

It supports shopping, booking, and servicing workflows and enables the cross-selling of ancillary services between airlines, and airlines and sellers. It normalises messages regardless of version or format, creating interoperability across the distribution ecosystem. Travel sellers can access multiple airlines via NDC Exchange, hence lowering the cost of their implementation.

NDC Exchange facilitates the real-time XML message translation enabling airlines and travel sellers to quickly and efficiently connect to the platform regardless of their API schema or standard. Once connected to NDC Exchange, airlines have access to all connected travel sellers and those travel sellers have access to all connected airlines.

“By building a single connection to NDC Exchange, we are being more efficient with our development resources, letting us focus on customer experience rather than content acquisition,” explains Rich Miller of Serko, an industry-leading corporate booking tool.

It is clear that NDC Exchange will enable the quick adoption of NDC, while lowering the cost of compliance to the schema and supporting complex interlining as airlines migrate to the new distribution format. Alongside the airlines, NDC Exchange has also seen robust industry interest, with early-joiners Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC) providing settlement support and Routehappy by ATPCO powering rich content capabilities to enhance merchandising.

The NDC Exchange as a platform clearly allows airlines and sellers to advance their NDC programmes at a fast pace and the addition of these five recognised global airlines adds some compelling weight to the platform’s position within the NDC ecosystem.