IATA is working on new distribution standards and infrastructure including for indirect distribution
IATA has launched a wide public campaign alleging that the GDS technology is too old and planning to introduce a New Distribution Capability (NDC). It has recently issued several press releases on this subject, among which:
Please find enclosed a presentation made by IATA on 10 June on the foreseen new distribution standards and infrastructure. The video of the panel discussion organised by IATA, with two airlines, two GDSs and Google, is available at the following link:
The criticisms made by airlines and Google to the current GDS model is that it is to slow to adapt to changes in airline products and that it is too expensive. They consider that travel agents are not interested in adopting other technology models because they do not want to lose the incentives paid by GDSs.
Airlines and Google see some technology challenges to make the whole GDS-agent integrated systems become agile enough to adapt to personalised products provided by airlines. But they consider that the main issue is a business issue, due to the lack of will from travel agents to adopt new technology with less financial incentives.
Airlines are determined to put pressure to change the model. IATA is working on a foundation standard to change the distribution model. The project aims at enabling airlines to distribute personalised products through all distribution channels, i.e. directly to end-consumers, through travel agents via some form of Direct Connect system, and through “distributors/aggregators” connecting to travel agents (or end-consumers ?). One of the main changes would be that airlines would provide fares and availabilities at the same time and in a dynamic way.
To some extent, the personalisation of airlines’ products may reach out to the area of package travel.
IATA’s calendar for the project is as follows:
- Submit the foundation standard to specialised committees by October 2012;
- Present the foundation standard during the IATA World Passenger Symposium in October 2012;
- Submit the foundation standard for approval by the IATA Board of Governors in December 2012;
- Work from there on driving the adoption of the standard and distribution model.
ACTA will ask for more information from IATA and GDSs on this project and will report back as soon as possible.
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