NDC failing to win over travel buyers, according to BTS poll

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NDC failing to win over travel buyers, according to BTS poll

The new IATA standard New Distribution Capability (NDC) is failing to win over European travel buyers, with increasing numbers now expressing doubts that NDC is a good thing.

A poll by the UK’s Business Travel Show (BTS) illustrates a huge surge in the number of buyers who are still apparently uninformed about this major change.

It had been hoped that NDC would finally offer personalisation and pricing transparency, allowing business travellers and travel managers to gain a better experience and achieve savings.

Despite 2019 being a pivotal year for the new platform, NetJets Europe travel supplier relations supervisor Helder Mendes is one of those to have expressed doubts: “I’m still quite concerned about NDC. It’s too early in its lifespan to produce any visible results.”

The new BTS poll revealed the number of buyers who ‘Don’t know’ whether new airline distribution strategies are a good thing has rocketed from 39% to 59%. And when asked ‘how has your opinion of NDC changed over the last 12 months?’ 41% admitted they didn’t know enough about it to make an informed decision.

Additionally, just over one quarter (26% ) regard NDC as a ‘good thing’, compared to 35% last year.


Are new airline distribution strategies a good thing?
  2018/19 2017/18
Strongly agree 9% 4%
Agree 17% 31%
Disagree 12% 23%
Strongly disagree 3% 5%
I don’t know 59% 39%


The impact on pricing may be one of the main drivers behind whether buyers regard NDC positively or negatively. When asked what impact they had seen from the introduction of new airline distributions, more than one quarter (27%) said prices had increased as a result (18% last year).


What impact have you seen from the introduction of NDC?
  2018/2019 2017/2018
More transparency with pricing 16% 18%
Our prices have increased 27% 18%
We have switched carriers 7% 6%
Our prices have decreased 5% 5%
None – our TMC looks after everything and keep us up-to-date 24% 29%
None of the above 5% 13%
I don’t know 33% 22%

The Business Travel Show runs at Olympia London, 20-21 February 2019.


What is NDC?

According to International Air Transport Association (IATA), NDC (New Distribution Capability) is a travel industry-supported program launched for the development and market adoption of a new, XML-based data transmission standard (NDC Standard).

The NDC Standard aims to enhance the capability of communications between airlines and travel agents. It is open to any third party, intermediary, IT provider or non-IATA member, to implement and use.

The NDC Standard enables the travel industry to transform the way air products are retailed to corporations, leisure and business travellers, by addressing the industry’s current distribution limitations, including:

  • Product differentiation and time-to-market
  • Access to full and rich air content
  • Transparent shopping experience
Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World. Write Paul an E-mail

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