LETTER: IATA Replies To Guest Column On NDC

In a guest column this week, noGDS CEO Christian Kameir took issue with aspects of the International Air Transport Association's New Distribution Capability standards. Among his criticisms were IATA's use of XML as NDC's programming language. IATA responded to clarify its standard and progress in adopting formats other than XML:

Dear Editor,

Christian Kameir is entitled to his opinions regarding the efficacy of NDC__although more than two dozen airlines and over 30 IT providers will probably disagree__but we would like to clarify that the NDC standard is not locked into XML, as was implied in his recent article. XML is the data interchange format of choice for our industry's messaging standards and thus, we adopted this format for NDC. However, as REST and JSON are very popular with the developer community, we are also progressing well on them, in collaboration with many interested IT providers, including incumbents and new entrants, airlines and sellers. See, for example, HP's White Paper examining REST NDC APIs available through the NDC Developer Portal. And there are now a number of REST NDC implementations/NDC products in the pipeline. In parallel, we are also working on aligning the NDC industry standards with the Industry Data Model initiative to upgrade our messaging standards development capability and improve interoperability of systems across the industry. The first set of aligned standards will be available in Q4 2017. We expect to release a JSON profile then also.


Perry Flint,

IATA head of corporate communications for the Americas