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The International Air Transport Association (IATA) and a coalition of travel agent associations - including the powerful American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) - are teaming up to collaborate on a study to look at options that could benefit travel agents as the New Distribution Capability (NDC) XML standard is considered for implementation by airlines and technology providers.
NDC is a travel industry-supported program launched by IATA for the development and market adoption of a new, XML-based data transmission standard. The NDC Standard will enhance the capability of communications between airlines and travel agents.
The study will be conducted by an independent consultant to be appointed jointly by the collection of travel agencies, known as The Group, and IATA.
The Group is comprised of associations representing agencies based in Australia, Brazil, Canada, India, New Zealand, South Africa and the USA including the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA); the Association of Brazilian Travel Agents (ABAV); the Association of Canadian Travel Agents (ACTA); the Association of South African Travel Agents Association (ASATA); The Australian Federation Travel Agents (AFTA); the Travel Agents Association of New Zealand (TAANZ); and the Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI).
"The Group has come together to provide a conduit to a range of markets and travel agents across the globe to allow the global agency community with a valuable piece of research," Otto De Vries, CEO of ASATA, said in a statement.
Jayson Westbury, CEO of AFTA, added: "As a better understanding and acceptance of NDC by airlines becomes apparent, it is timely to now undertake this research study to investigate how travel agents might benefit from the implementation of the standard."
The study will attempt to understand the impact of NDC for travel agents; explore options to overcome possible obstacles to successful NDC implementation by the parties within the travel value chain; provide scenarios of the potential funding models for the transaction of airfares and airline ancillary products via the travel agent channel using the NDC standard; and evaluate the issues from the perspectives of large, medium and small agencies, including both business- and leisure-travel focused agencies.
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