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Aer Lingus, Aeroflot and Qatar Airways to trial New Distribution Capability

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NDC is an IATA-led initiative to define a new messaging standard between airlines and travel agents that aims to enable greater transparency and choice for travellers.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has announced that Aeroflot, Aer Lingus and Qatar Airways, as well as travel industry IT provider JR Technologies (JRT), will undertake New Distribution Capability (NDC) pilot programmes.

NDC is an IATA-led, industry-supported initiative to develop an XML-based data transmission standard for communications between airlines and travel agents, which aims to make it easier, faster and cheaper to provide the customer with more information about fare alternatives, ancillary services, onboard amenities and graphics such as seat maps when booking via a travel agent.

Commenting on the forthcoming pilot, Akbar Al Baker, CEO of Qatar Airways, said: “We are delighted to be the first Middle East airline to launch an NDC pilot. We believe that given our position as a leading full service carrier, Qatar Airways will be able to benefit significantly from NDC features as this will enable us to better showcase the value of our five-star product offering to passengers.”

Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO, commented: “We welcome the participation of Aer Lingus, Aeroflot and Qatar Airways, as well as JR Technologies. The new pilots will support the development of the NDC standard to modernise the way that airline products are presented through travel agents and help to promote efficiency, and innovation.”

The NDC pilot programme was launched in 2013, and American Airlines, Air New Zealand, Hainan Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Swiss International Air Lines, Shandong Airlines and Air Canada have already taken part in pilots. On May 21 2014, the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) tentatively approved Resolution 787 – the foundation document for NDC.

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