Travel industry coalition urges IATA to withdraw NDC resolution

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Travel industry stakeholders have voiced opposition to IATA's New Distribution Capability (NDC) by urging the industry association to withdraw, amend and resubmit its resolution on its distribution initiative.

In a letter to IATA director general Tony Tyler, a coalition of 117 corporate travel managers, travel agency executives and other industry stakeholders from 16 countries have asked for the resolution, called Resolution 787 and filed with the US department of transport in March, to be withdrawn.

The coalition seeks clarification on IATA's recent assurances that Resolution 787 will not adversely impact current airfare transparency, consumer choice, personal data privacy and airline and distribution channel competition. "If IATA could provide more specifics about the components of its recent assurances and how these assurances would be incorporated in an amended Resolution 787, then we could consider adding our voices of support," they say.

Juergen Buechy, president of the German Travel Association says: "It is difficult to have a constructive industry discussion regarding Resolution 787 without complete, unambiguous and accurate statements from IATA regarding exactly how the programme would be implemented.

"When 240 airlines, many of which are horizontal competitors, and many of which dominate in their home markets, agree to a new worldwide pricing and distribution standard, much is at risk for stakeholders. Promises are nice to have but at the end all stakeholders require guarantees that their concerns are heard and properly addressed," he says.

The coalition's letter to IATA contains five statements from IATA on NDC they oppose and proposes alternatives they would support. This includes IATA's statement that "NDC will not eliminate comparison shopping" which they want changed to: "IATA guarantees that nothing in Resolution 787 would directly or indirectly prevent member airlines from publishing all airfare offerings for anonymous comparison-shopping purposes."