IATA will make a call in the coming months for industry stakeholders to participate in its New Distribution Capability (NDC) pilot.
Speaking at the recent Airline Business-organised Airline Merchandising, Ancillary Revenue and New Commercial Models conference in London, IATA's project manager for e-services Sébastien Touraine said it was currently deciding when the call would be made and on other details. But he says it is likely to be in the coming months. He says 2013 will see IATA "set up the technical standard at the foundation of this NDC product".
While there has been criticism of the NDC move from the Global Distribution System (GDS) providers, but Touraine rejects suggestions that it is a rival product. "It's not a new GDS. It's all about a standard, nothing more," he says. Touraine says NDC "should only be a win-win for everybody" and is "about giving the ability to airlines to know who's requesting [tickets] at the time of purchase".
He says NDC is being designed to bring additional functionality that airlines have on their websites and internet booking engines through third parties.
"It's not about a GDS bypass, it's a modelthat whoever wants to take content and control the content, can dynamically provide it to anybody this could be a GDS, it could be a travel management company, it could be a travel agency. But they must take it through one set of standards unique for the industry," he says.