Iata’s pursuit of a new distribution capability (NDC) has “wasted time and energy” and “derailed” industry discussion, according to a senior global distribution system (GDS) executive.
Svend Leirvaag, Amadeus vice-president for industry affairs, hit out at the airline association at the CAPA World Aviation Summit in Helsinki.
He said: “Iata has wasted so much money trying to propagandise NDC, and I’m tired of it.
“We’ve wasted so much time and energy on this. It’s time to demystify NDC. Will NDC be a panacea for rich content? No.
“We leapfrogged Iata standards 10 years ago. This is not about technology. The [NDC] technology standard will not give you content and functionality or transparency and the ability to compare.
“We [the GDSs] are way ahead of the NDC project.”
Leirvaag said: “NDC has derailed industry discussion. It’s ill conceived. It has not contributed to the efficiency of the industry.
“Iata has said it made a mistake [in the way it introduced NDC]. There are so many bottlenecks operationally and commercially, but not technically.”
However, Leirvaag insisted: “We support a collaborative approach on how to take the industry forward.”
Travelport global head of product and marketing, Ian Heywood, agreed, saying: “Everything [IATA promises with NDC] is already there. We do it. Our competitors do it. So I’m confused.”
Heywood argued: “Comparison of like for like [fares] will be more difficult with NDC. You will only know a fare when you ask for it. You won’t know if it is personalised. Comparison will be harder.”
However, Iata new distribution regional implementation manager, David Rutnam, told the summit: “All we are doing is putting a single standard in place. How it’s used is up to individual airlines.
“We’ve done it to reduce costs for airlines. We believe all will benefit.”