Etihad Airways has successfully implemented a new booking standard driven by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) that enhances the level of information flow between travel agents and airline reservation systems.
The New Distribution Capability (NDC) booking standard has been made possible following successful testing by Etihad Airways with Sabre Airline Solutions in partnership with Sabre Travel Network, one of the largest global distribution systems. As a result, the airline has secured a Level 1 certification from IATA.
The certification paves the way for travel agents to have greater functionality with an improved shopping experience in the future that will enable them to access images of products, services and seat maps directly from Etihad Airways’ host reservation system.
IATA, which represents the interests of over 265 airlines worldwide, has been advocating a New Distribution Capability to modernise business and communication between carriers and the travel trade.
Under its NDC programme, IATA has been actively working with airlines, IT providers and travel agents worldwide to develop and adopt a new XML-based data transmission standard.
Justin Warby, Etihad Airways Vice President Digital Transformation and Innovation, said: “In line with Etihad Airways’ strategy to offer consumers greater travel options, the NDC standard will enhance the airline’s ability to create further tailored offers and communicate our award-winning product benefits more effectively to customers to best meet their travel needs.
“Using a standard format, this is an important enhancement as we continue to invest in the latest technology and digital platforms to improve the overall booking experience.”
Yanik Hoyles, Director, NDC Programme, added: “We welcome the decision by Etihad Airways to implement the first level of the NDC Standard. NDC is modernising the way that airline products are presented through travel agents, providing consumers with greater access and transparency. With NDC, travellers will be able to compare the full product offering regardless of the shopping channel they use.”