Amadeus Commits To Level 3 NDC Timing, Joining Sabre And Travelport

Amadeus in 2018 expects to become Level 3 certified as an aggregator through the International Air Transport Association's New Distribution Capability standard, the company announced this week.

Amadeus joins Sabre and Travelport in releasing time frames for achieving the highest level of NDC certification via their global distribution systems.

Travelport and Sabre addressed time lines and progress toward Level 3 certification for an article last week in The Beat, but Amadeus declined to share details at the time.

Travelport is first up and indicated it could reach Level 3 status as soon as this year. Sabre expects to reach Level 3 certification in the third quarter of next year.

Amadeus declined to put a finer point on its time line.

Amadeus IT Group director of airline strategy Gianni Pisanello announced Amadeus' commitment to Level 3 certification at IATA's World Passenger Symposium this week in Barcelona.

In a follow-up post on Amadeus' site, Pisanello wrote, "We believe that NDC is in a very different place than it was a few years ago, meaning that now we can start talking about the industrialization of NDC. There are three main reasons why we are in a different place: first, the maturity and stability of the standard has evolved significantly; second, the critical mass of airlines making serious investments in this area; and third, increasing awareness and engagement from the travel agency community."

Amadeus this month achieved Level 1 certification in its GDS business, joining Sabre and Travelport, both of which achieved IATA's baseline-level certification earlier this year. Level 1 certification covers ancillary airline sales, and Amadeus' deployment partner for ancillaries was British Airways, part of the International Airlines Group.

Separately, Amadeus has facilitated new distribution arrangements between IAG and some major travel management companies that envision NDC connectivity.

IATA's Level 2 certification entails extensive use of NDC-based shopping- and offer-management schemas. Level 3 certification would "cover both offer and order management." Under Level 3, "the airline takes full control of shopping, as well as booking, payment and ticketing," according to IATA.