Travelport enters airline-agent battle

Row over New Distribution Capability project intensifies

Following the controversy in recent days that has pitched airlines and IATA against the travel agent community over the airline association’s New Distribution Capability (NDC), Travelport has entered the battleground. In a carefully worded statement, the travel business and GDS services company suggests that the NDC does not address the concerns of travel agents.
“Travelport welcomes open engagement with IATA on its New Distribution Capability (NDC) initiative to ensure an effective and efficient method for delivering supplier content to all participants in the travel supply chain,” Travelport says in its statement. “In this regard, Travelport has consistently maintained that standards are an important aspect of the technology landscape in that they have the capacity to greatly improve the product offering and the customer experience. However, these standards need to fairly and equally represent the needs of all participants in the end-to-end travel supply chain.”
As reported yesterday in TTG Nordic, agents are angry about plans for the new airline distribution capability that they say weren’t consulted for. IATA has approved a proposal for the new system, which would make it possible for airlines to create personalised airfares and ancillary offers based on customer data. But agents – represented by bodies such as the World Travel Agents Associations Alliance, the American Society of Travel Agents and the Association of Canadian Travel Agencies – worry it will badly affect the current distribution model and bring an end to price transparency.
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