Airline body Iata has announced an independent study into the impact of its New Distribution Capability standard on travel agents.
The emerging XML standard is intended to bring Amazon-style merchandising to travel and originally met with widespread opposition from the trade and Global Distribution Systems.
However, reassurances from Iata and a commitment to work more closely with the trade, has since addressed many of the concerns raised when NDC was initially announced.
As part of the study Iata will collaborate with the National Travel Agent Associations, a Group representing national associations, to look at options for NDC that could benefit travel agents.
The study will be conducted by an independent consultant, to undertake research and analysis in the following areas.
• Understanding the impact (eg, from a business, technology and commercial perspective) of NDC for travel agents.
• Exploring options to overcome possible obstacles to successful NDC implementation by the parties within the travel value chain.
• Providing scenarios of the potential funding models for the transaction of airfares and airline ancillary products via the travel agent channel using the NDC standard.
The study will evaluate the issues for large, medium and small agencies, including both business and leisure agencies.
It will also seek views from airlines, global distribution systems, travel technology firms and providers of corporate booking tools.
Yanik Hoyles, Iata program director for NDC, said: “With the full set of NDC ‘end-to-end’ schemas now available, this collaboration between Iata and The Group is a great opportunity to jointly understand the benefits and implications of NDC from the perspective of travel agents.”
The Group is made up of associations representing agencies based in Australia, Brazil, Canada, India, New Zealand, South Africa and the USA including the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA); the Association of Brazilian Travel Agents (ABAV); the Association of Canadian Travel Agents (ACTA); the Association of South African Travel Agents Association (ASATA); The Australian Federation Travel Agents (AFTA); the Travel Agents Association of New Zealand (TAANZ); and the Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI).