In June 2017, American Airlines announced a distribution offer that included a $2 per-segment incentive to any agency that booked through approved application programming interface connections. At the time, agencies had to issue a ticket through American's API connection by the end of 2018 to lock in the incentive through 2020. VP of sales and distribution strategy Cory Garner this week said the airline will give agencies another year to take the offer.
To translate its AC2U airline distribution application programming interface for an NDC world, Air Canada has turned to the NDC Exchange, jointly produced by ATPCO and SITA.
The number of agencies kicking the tires on booking, ticketing and servicing airline content through Travelport's systems in accordance with the New Distribution Capability standard has expanded.
Australian flag carrier Qantas introduced a new commercial structure for travel agencies to promote adoption of New Distribution Capability-compatible connections, either through a global distribution system or another approved tech provider. Its pitch to agencies includes the threat of a $12.50 per-segment surcharge on GDS bookings and diminished content access but also a private channel-type framework as a path for agencies to avoid both.
Last week, a group of travel management companies in an open letter likened New Distribution Capability to a "half-built house." They want to deliver on the standard's promise of richer content for clients, they wrote, but they must enable their own new distribution capabilities to "fulfill customer requirements of comparability, policy control, cost management, reporting and duty of care."
BCD Travel early next year plans to pilot New Distribution Capability bookings with Lufthansa Group and two undisclosed non-global distribution system aggregators.
On Tuesday, British Airways began testing new inventory buckets in business and economy classes on Boston and Dubai routes, some of which only are available for purchase through the airline's direct channels or New Distribution Capability-compatible connections.
A group of 15 travel management companies, including American Express Global Business Travel, BCD Travel, Carlson Wagonlit Travel and Egencia, signed an open letter in response to travel buyers who had urged the industry "to do more" to advance the New Distribution Capability standard and account for buyer needs.
Carlson Wagonlit Travel has begun piloting access for its reservations consultants to Lufthansa Group’s lowest fares via the aggregator Travelfusion. But the mega travel management company is less than ecstatic about it.
A U.K.-based travel management company last week transacted a flight booking on Travelport's Smartpoint point-of-sale system in accordance with the International Air Transport Association’s New Distribution Capability standard. Travelport claimed to be the first major global distribution system to do so.