The Great NDC Journey: Where we’ve been and where we’re going

Gianni Pisanello

VP NDC-X Program, Amadeus

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In J.R.R Tolkien’s classic novel ‘The Lord of the Rings’, a bold hobbit named Frodo finds himself tasked with a mission that leads him to undertake an epic journey. On the way he encounters many challenges, but is always strengthened by them and understands the path he must take.

While our NDC journey distinctly lacks magical wizards or fire breathing dragons – we too are on a journey with a clear roadmap that leads to making NDC a success for the travel industry. We’ve identified four phases to the NDC journey, outlined below:

2011-2013: Ideation 

IATA creates the NDC standard and kicks off discussions with the industry.

2014-2017: Experimentation   

Testing and development of the standard begins. But it’s not yet mature as the market continues to play around with the possibilities NDC offers.

2018-2021: Industrialization 

We’re already working with travel players on building and deploying industrialized NDC solutions. The infrastructure to do this is being built by the industry’s talented developers with a focus to get bookings in production and deploy NDC at scale globally. 

2022 and Beyond: Innovation & Optimization 

Once the infrastructure is in place and the basics work at scale, then a new phase of continuous innovation and optimization will follow. Think back to 1990 when computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web. Could we have imagined Google or Facebook back then? Not so much, but this is where the innovation truly takes off.  

As we tackle the industrialization phase with programs like NDC-X and our NDC-X Advisory Board, we are focused on one thing (and it’s not a shiny gold ring). It’s the travelers who are all on journeys of their own. We are committed to making their journeys better, while also creating new value for our travel industry partners.