IATA updates NDC, EC investigates Lufthansa

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NDC version 17.2 has restructured offer and order concepts
The International Air Transport Association has released an updated version of its New Distribution Capability (NDC) standard, as the European Commission confirms it is investigating Lufthansa’s €16 fee for GDS bookings.
NDC is designed to help travel sellers be more flexible when retailing air products, and IATA claims it “addresses the industry’s current distribution limitations” of product differentiation and time-to-market, access to full and rich air content and a transparent shopping experience.
NDC version 17.2 has restructured offer and order concepts, which Nigel Meyer, global director at Hrgtec, says is more “mature”. Hrgtec is the digital development division of corporate travel management firm HRG.
“The standard has reached a new level of maturity,” he said. “The message structure is much cleaner and arranged more logically. Of great importance is the fact it is more complete and there are fewer airline-specific extensions required, making the addition of new airlines more efficient.”
The 17.2 release follows a statement by Violeta Bulc, European Commissioner for Transport, that she was “investigating whether the €16 distribution cost charge introduced by Lufthansa Group on bookings made through a computerised reservation [GDS booking] system breaches the provisions of Regulation (EC) No 80/2009 on a Code of Conduct for Computerised Reservation systems”.
Lufthansa denies this is the case. Meanwhile, British Airways and Iberia will also add a GDS fee to any booking made through a GDS from November, something Bulc said she was aware of.
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