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22 Sep 2017

BY Matthew Parsons


Iata updates NDC as EC looks at Lufthansa

Iata has released an updated version of its New Distribution Capability (NDC) standard, as the European Commission confirms it is investigating Lufthansa’s €16 fee for GDS bookings.

Lufthansa tailfin sunset

"The standard has reached a new level of maturity... the message structure is much cleaner"

NDC is designed to help travel sellers be more flexible when retailing air products and Iata claims it “addresses the industry’s current distribution limitations” of product differentiation and time-to-market, access to full and rich air content and a transparent shopping experience.

NDC version 17.2 has restructured offer and order concepts, which Nigel Meyer, global director at hrgtec, says is more “mature”.

“The standard has reached a new level of maturity,” he said. “The message structure is much cleaner and arranged more logically… Of great importance is the fact it is more complete and there are fewer airline-specific extensions required, making the addition of new airlines more efficient.”

The 17.2 release follows a statement made by Violeta Bulc, European Commissioner for Transport, who said she was “investigating whether the €16 distribution cost charge introduced by Lufthansa Group on bookings made through a computerised reservation system [GDS booking] breaches the provisions of Regulation (EC) No 80/2009 on a Code of Conduct for Computerised Reservation systems”.

Lufthansa has disputed this is the case, however.

British Airways and Iberia will also add a GDS fee (£8) to any booking made through a GDS from November, and Bulc added the commission was aware of their decision “to introduce a surcharge for tickets booked... for flights through a computerised reservation system”.

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