As IT provider & distributor, Amadeus now holds dual Level 4 NDC certifications from IATA

Gianni Pisanello

Vice President, NDC [X], Amadeus

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Through our NDC [X] program, the first of its kind, we have supported the travel industry to enable full, rich content, product differentiation and servicing operations through NDC. As an IT provider, we support our airline partners to expose their content using Amadeus Altéa NDC and as a distributor, we integrate airline content and ensure it can be effectively consumed and processed by travel agencies across the globe. 

I am happy to share with you that Amadeus has now received the Level 4 NDC certification as an aggregator from the International Air Transport Association (IATA). This is yet another milestone of our NDC [X] program, which has been advocating collaboration and compliance with the true standard for NDC to work for the industry. Earlier this year in May, we achieved the Level 4 certification for NDC as an IT provider.

Around this time, last year, we were one of the first to receive Level 3 NDC certification from IATA as both a distributor and IT provider. While Level 3 NDC certification is about the prime booking flow - to make and retrieve bookings, Level 4 NDC certification is about the next and critical step: servicing a booking. This includes void tickets, cancellations and exchanges, as well as refunds. It also sets the foundation for notifications between airlines and retailers when there are changes made to the itinerary. 

Differentiating the new certification

Level 4 enables more in-depth integration into the travel agency ecosystem. It understands that NDC is only useful to the corporate traveler if the booking can be serviced and modified post booking, and if results can appear rapidly on their online booking tools and mobile apps. Hence, it addresses a broader range of travel sellers’ business needs by going beyond the prime booking flow to offer servicing functionalities.

Level 4 certification is a testament to the progress that we are making. We are beginning to see that the industry is making steps towards the industrialization of NDC. The standard continues on its path to maturity by starting to include important use cases for travel sellers around servicing. 

Collaboration is key

We have been working with IATA and our airline and agency partners like Travix, to advocate the standards around post-booking servicing and performance. We’re happy to see these additional standards in action through this certification, which Travix was fundamental in helping us achieve. 

Our collaboration with Travix allows its websites to offer content via NDC-connectivity through the Amadeus Travel API in Austria, Germany, Ireland, Switzerland, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom. This content sits alongside traditional EDIFACT content, can be found through one search and is displayed in an consolidated way to allow for easy comparison. This simple, intuitive booking experience stands as a key milestone for us in the NDC [X] program as we work together with multiple airline and travel agency partners to industrialize NDC.

Moving forward @Scale

But it doesn’t end there! There are more great milestones to come, including the certification of NDC @Scale. And we’re aggressively working to achieve this to support our airline customers. Through NDC @Scale, airlines can show they go beyond the ability to simply exchange a few NDC messages, to demonstrating a capability for large scale deployment with a minimum set of features to ensure real business readiness. It will mean that they can manage a large volume of traffic with the right performances expected by the travel sellers and travel buyers in order to be successful. Amadeus is expecting these certification requirements to continue evolving as more challenges remain to be solved together as an industry. 

As important as the certifications may be, getting bookings in production, ensuring retailer adoption, and deploying NDC at scale is our key focus. We’re working hard with airlines and travel sellers to deliver NDC through our NDC [X] program. With live bookings now in place and NDC-enabled solutions launched, we’re working to overcome the various challenges the industry is facing to be able to continue our journey.

For more information about our NDC [X] program, check out our dedicated webpage.


Airline IT, Travel sellers, NDC