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NDC 101: What you need to know about IATA’s New Distribution Capability

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Einstein said, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” While it’s not as complex as theoretical physics, questions still persist about IATA’s New Distribution Capability (NDC). To help everyone get a better grasp of the topic, we’ve launched a dedicated page on our new website to cover everything you need to know about NDC. It covers all of the essentials of the travel industry’s hot topic of the moment.

What is NDC and why are we talking about it now?

In a nutshell, NDC is a messaging protocol based on XML. It is the first step on a journey to greater digitization that the entire industry is on, both airlines and travel sellers. In this sense NDC is a foundational element. It’s a little like the early days of the internet and it lays the foundation for us to build sophisticated retailing capabilities on top of the NDC protocol that improve the travel experience. The possibilities for innovating on top of NDC are potentially endless and ultimately it could revolutionize how travel is bought and sold in the future.

Most of the industry still learning about NDC

Our Twitter poll found that 50% of respondents had basic to no understanding of NDC. We want to address this and equip professionals across the industry with greater knowledge about NDC. Why? So that we can more effectively build solutions using NDC together - that will work for all. We are at a critical moment in terms of the development of solutions using the NDC standard and the readiness of the industry. For NDC to truly take off across the industry, we need to use the right version of the standard, as well as implementing it using standard workflows. We also need to ensure that it responds to travel provider and seller requirements. The bottom line is that it needs to make economic sense to drive investment.

At Amadeus, we recognize that we have a responsibility to make NDC work for all travel players, and that’s what we are doing through our NDC-X program.

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What we are hoping NDC will bring

The possibilities offered by NDC are potentially endless. It will enable the travel industry to innovate much faster how travel is sold and bought. Based on another recent Twitter poll we ran, NDC will mainly drive innovation, improve industry collaboration, and enhance choice for travellers. But in order to succeed, the entire travel industry needs to work together to deliver new services and an improved travel experience for consumers.

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Earning a master’s degree in NDC

For the industry to get where it needs to be, it’s essential to make sure we collectively understand what NDC is and what we must to do to make it a success. This is why we are launching the Amadeus NDC website. Here you’ll find a video series answering frequently asked questions and more. By the time you’re finished, you’ll master NDC and know what it is, what it means for airlines, travel sellers and corporations as well as what we need to do to make NDC a success together.