Leading travel commerce platform Travelport has become the first GDS operator to manage the live booking of flights using the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) New Distribution Capability (NDC) technical standard.
The first transaction was made by a British agency, Meon Valley Travel, on Friday 19 October for a short-haul low-cost flight from London to Milan issued by a major European carrier. It was managed on the latest Travelport Smartpoint agency point of sale. The new capability allows bookings to be made for any services on the airline without incurring a surcharge. It is the first of a series of products Travelport is developing to accommodate changing airline distribution methods.
“This is a landmark moment for airline distribution. We are delighted to have taken a lead in bringing the NDC era to life. It has required an extraordinary amount of skill and expertise to make this happen and I want to thank my own colleagues at Travelport as well as those at our partners. We are still at the very earliest stages of NDC deployment. Its evolution will continue to take time as we learn from the practical experience of its first use. Meanwhile, we continue to offer a comprehensive global travel commerce platform capable of handling mass volumes of searchable and bookable content at speed for the world’s travel providers and agents,” Gordon Wilson, Travelport’s President and CEO, said.
“Congratulations to Travelport for managing the first NDC-enabled booking through its platform. This is a significant step toward the new era of airline retailing. We look forward to continuing to work with Travelport as it advances NDC-enabled products in the coming months and years,” Aleks Popovich, IATA’s Senior Vice President, Financial and Distribution Services, commented on the development.
Travelport’s new NDC capability is enabled using similar XML connections to those Travelport already deploys with APIs for over 20 low-cost carriers. Travelport published a Roadmap for its initial range of NDC products in February, having been the first GDS operator in December 2017 to acquire Level 3 certification from IATA as an aggregator.