International Air Transport Association

International Air Transport Association

Bringing a new ticket distribution standard to life

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is a trade group serving the airline industry. IATA recently facilitated an industry-led initiative to propose a new standard for distributing airline seats. The result, called New Distribution Capability (NDC), benefits the industry as well as consumers, by supporting faster introduction and more compelling marketing of new products and services, and making flight search and comparison shopping a better experience.

It was crucial that IATA convey vividly the benefits to industry stakeholders in order to get companies to commit to implementation. Yet NDC itself, being an abstract XML and messaging standard, could be difficult for industry leaders to understand.

IATA needed a demonstrator that would let people walk through common travel agent and online ticket search and selection scenarios. It had to be compelling and immersive for users, and clearly compare the experience with and without NDC. And it had to be ready in just three months, for the IATA Annual General Meeting. IATA asked ThoughtWorks for help.

In just nine weeks IATA and ThoughtWorks built a demonstrator that highlights the benefits and dispelling misconceptions about the NDC to stakeholders within all segments of the air travel industry.

“I was impressed with how quickly the team was able to get up to speed. Air travel is a complex industry and the team were making meaningful contributions before the end of the first week.”

Said Yanik Hoyles, Head, NDC Program, FDS Transformation, IATA, and added:

“They’ve been very flexible, willing to change tactics when needed to get the best result possible for us.”

The NDC demonstrator was introduced at the IATA annual general members meeting, and is being made available online.

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