IATA expects the US Department of Transportation (DOT) to decide by end-2013 on whether to approve a new travel distribution standard it is championing, which would clear the way for implementation.
The DOT has said it expects a ruling by the end of autumn, says Douglas Lavin, IATA's regional vice-president for North America, adding that he realistically expects a decision by the end of the year.
Called the New Distribution Capability (NDC), the project aims to modernise the way travel agents and online travel websites sell airfares. IATA says it would create a standard that would help airlines sell their ancillary products through travel agents and websites, which is not widely available currently.
The initiative has attracted opposition from travel agents and global distribution systems (GDSs), which have filed comments with the DOT calling on the agency to disapprove IATA's resolution filed in March. They also called on the DOT to mandate IATA to provide additional information to back up the NDC.
Lavin says the DOT has communicated to IATA that it does not require further information from the association, and remains hopeful that it will win approval.
If the agency disapproves the resolution, Lavin says IATA would have the option to re-file.
IATA is currently overseeing pilot trials of the NDC and expects to unveil the results at its World Passenger Symposium in Dublin next month.