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What travel managers need to know about NDC and travel content

The term NDC has been used a lot within the travel industry over the last few years. However, this has mainly been in discussions around how the arrival of the technology and IATA’s standard can benefit airlines, rather than what it can bring to customers.

Due to the complex nature of NDC technology, explanations of what it is and how it works can become convoluted, which is why we have distilled what we think is essential for travel managers to know here:

What is NDC?

Created by IATA, New Distribution Capability (NDC) refers to a data transmission standard that enables airlines to sell their inventory without the need for Global Distribution Systems – particularly ancillary services such as baggage, WiFi and in-flight meals.

NDC is a way of airlines to communicate with third-party booking platforms and connect travellers directly with a supplier’s product offering, allowing travellers to build a fare that better reflects their requirements.

Why was NDC created?

Although NDC was largely created due to airlines’ growing frustration with the cost of distributing their content through traditional Global Distribution Systems, the technology was also developed to create a better experience for buyers. The direct nature of it ultimately gives travellers more choices, which allows them to benefit from a more personalised booking experience.

How does NDC benefit corporates?
  • A more efficient booking process – Direct access to all available content means bookers and travellers no longer have to shop around, making the process of booking flights quicker and easier.
  • Improved adoption and greater compliance – The increased choice that this provides travellers means they have a higher chance of finding a fare or package that is right for them and their travel policy
  • Transparent pricing – Customers can have complete confidence that the travel options and fares that they’re seeing are representative of what the market has to offer.
What to look out for in travel technology if accessing NDC content is a priority for your organisation.

If your organisation would like to access NDC content then it’s vital that your corporate travel booking tool can aggregate content from multiple airlines. This will give your travellers a complete overview of everything the market has to offer, increasing their chance of making the best choice in terms of cost and travel policy. If you’re currently searching for a new TMC, then it’s worth asking how they plan to give your organisation access to NDC content and what kind of direct connect technology they already have in place with airlines.

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