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Business travel executives questioned the rationale for Iata’s New Distribution Capability (NDC) standard for distributing air fares and ancillaries to agents.
Adam Knights, managing director of travel management company (TMC) ATPI, said: “The technology already exists. We say to corporate customers: why would an airline want to market direct to you? The value of a GDS [global distribution system] is you can interline.”
Jason Geall, vice-president and UK general manager at American Express Global Business Travel, said: “Corporates want content in one place. If you fragment distribution, it’s not easy to have in one place and track travellers.”
Clive Wratten, chief executive of CTI, another TMC, said: “The level has not been found with NDC. Distribution is fractured.”
Bob Schumacher, UK and Ireland managing director for US carrier United Airlines, said: “We’ll continue to distribute through GDSs and TMCs because it is most efficient.”
However, he added: “We have to get into more segmentation [of offers]. GDSs are getting there. NDC could be a facilitator.”