New Distribution Capability

The airline industry has been trying to improve the user experience and consistency of that experience across distribution channels. IATA (International Air Transport Association) launched what it calls the NDC program for the development and market adoption of a new, XML-based data transmission standard (NDC Standard). The NDC Standard enhances the capability of communications between airlines and travel agents and is open to any third party, intermediary, IT provider or non-IATA member, to implement and use.


NDC (New Distribution Capability) was created to allow airlines to better distribute content. It was designed to allow the travel industry to evolve in many areas such as continuous pricing, providing full and rich content and offering a transparent shopping experience.

Airlines are limited in the EDIFACT systems (GDS) and view this as a financial loss. Many GDS’s are either currently pursuing certification through the NDC program or working directly with the airline to bring this capability into existing systems.


In the North American market: United Airlines, Delta and American Airlines have already launched their NDC programs. Air Canada will be launching their own NDC channels as of June 14th, 2023. This will introduce a new DCR (Distribution Cost Recovery) tax to all EDIFACT bookings for Air Canada. This cost is $32 CAD per ticket booked.


Travelpath will remain in the EDIFACT system (GDS) until an end-to-end solution is found, this will allow the current technology to catch up to NDC. Currently this is not available and moving to NDC would cause issues for clients who have approval systems as they would no longer be available. The use of unused tickets from the EDIFACT system is currently not available in NDC. If a client were to switch to the NDC platform, additional fees and restrictions will apply to NDC booked tickets.


Travelpath is committed to keeping you informed as the industry evolves with NDC. Testing and analysis will be done as tools become available to accommodate NDC within the corporate travel space. Please refer back to this page for any updates and resources that will be helpful to travel managers and travellers.


To learn more about the NDC program please refer to IATA’s website: IATA – Distribution with Offers & Orders (NDC)

A two-part series with Business Travel News addressing the Travel Industry and NDC roll out:

One Month Later, Industry Assesses American NDC Aftershocks | Business Travel News

TMCs Wrestle with New NDC Reality | Business Travel News

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