What is NDC?

New Distribution Capability (NDC) is an XML-based data transfer standard developed by the International Air Transportation Association (IATA) to transform the way flight content is distributed in the travel industry. NDC aims to solve the many shortcomings of the existing airline distribution system.

The NDC standard benefits airlines, sellers, and system providers; it’s an open standard that does not require IATA membership. By following the standard all parties can benefit from reduced time to market and save the investment historically required for implementing bespoke solutions.

NDC content can now be found across all sectors of the air travel industry. From Low Cost Carriers to Full Service Carriers, and from leisure to business travel.

From GDS to rich content & ancillaries

The travel industry has long been reliant on Global Distribution Systems (GDSs) for distributing flight content. GDSs are provided by the likes of Amadeus, Travelport, and Sabre. Though widely used, the limitations of these systems drove the establishment of NDC.

GDSs often rely on the legacy EDIFACT standard to power their distribution. EDIFACT is widely considered too rigid to fully support the rich content and ancillaries airlines increasingly seek. Airlines want to package their flights with ancillary services to differentiate them from their competitors, give customised offers, and boost revenue. Rich content includes the text, images, and even videos that the modern consumer wants when considering a flight purchase. The NDC standard has comprehensive support for both rich content and ancillaries.

The move to NDC also empowers airlines to evaluate their distribution costs. GDS based distribution relies on complex commercial models, with airlines effectively paying sellers to book their flights. With NDC, airlines can choose their own commercial model and technical platform; selecting from a wide variety of partners including in-house teams.

Paxport & NDC

Accessing NDC content can be a daunting prospect for any travel seller. At Paxport we are fully committed to doing the heavy lifting for you via our PaxFab aggregation platform. We also offer a suite of caching, payment, and ancillary solutions to further accelerate your business. Let’s start a conversation, get in touch via our contact form.