Insights on IATA’s NDC and One Order Standards

08 May 2020
5 min read

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has been operating since 1945 and has helped many businesses and individuals understand the benefits that airline brings to national and global economies. IATA has helped decision-makers understand how air transport works, and importantly, have been strongly advocating for the interests of airlines around the world. Whether its challenging unreasonable regulations, holding government officials accountable for their actions or rallying for sensible rules, the IATA works tirelessly with the airline industry’s best intentions at heart.

IATA has recently developed new global commercial standards, NDC and One Order. The airline industry is built upon the standards of the IATA, so understanding how these standards will simplify existing processes and increase convenience for passengers is essential.

Let’s take a look at the new standards…

What is NDC?

In short, NDC is a new messaging protocol based on an XML system. NDC, or New Distribution Capacity, will change the way air products are sold to corporations, holiday makers and business travelers. The new standard will create a more transparent shopping experience as it will address the current distribution limitations in the airline industry.

The NDC programme will improve communications between airlines and travel agents as it has been created for and by the travel industry. Everyone from online travel agents to corporate buyers will contribute to upholding the NDC standard as a collaborative approach is essential to ensure the supporting schemas are functional. This will ensure the programme can be used regardless of location, target market and commercial policies. The NDC standard is welcomed to be used by any third party, IT company or non-IATA member. If companies and individuals successfully comply with the standard, a more transparent shopping experience will be created and maintained.

Every industry is trying to digitalize in order to offer greater, more efficient services and solutions to its customers, and airline is no different. NDC will offer greater digitization to both airlines and travel sellers, allowing them to improve the travel experiences they offer by building sophisticated retailing solutions on the base of the NDC protocol.

What is One Order?

One Order is an initiative by the IATA to modernize the booking and accounting processes of airlines. It has been created to help airlines align their products more accurately to their customers’ needs, and simplify the booking experience of customers.

Following the new standard, a customer will have one single reference number, their Order ID, which will be used to cover their flight and all other supplementary product documents. Currently, flight and supplementary product documents are issued and handled separately. Under the new standard, airline tickets and third party products, such as hotel accommodation and car rental, can be integrated into one Order Id.

This modernization of booking systems is made possible due to the NDC standard, which helps to improve communication between airline providers and other travel service providers.

What are the challenges and benefits of One Order and NDC?

NDC and One Order challenges

A high level of commitment from airlines and their distribution partners are required to ensure NDC is successful. For example, how NDC is implemented will vary from airline to airline, this will make it difficult to standardize the adoption of NDC.

There is growing concern that the introduction of NDC and One Order will cause a division in airlines as some may choose to fully implement the new standards, whilst others may focus on owning a larger share of the travel experience, as the airline industry is expected to experience a market boom in the near future. By allowing NDC and One Order to take over the end-to-end delivery of their services, airlines will have to consider how they will need to readjust their customer experience and implement a more holistic management strategy.

NDC and One Order benefits

As NDC is a foundational element of an industry, it has limitless possibilities for how it could improve the travel experience.

For passengers, the benefits of NDC and One Order are many; passengers will be able to travel more effortlessly and book extra features for their trips more efficiently. Although experts say NDC and One Order will be challenged by adoption, currently 22 airlines in operation today have NDC certifications. Along with travel sellers, travel management businesses and online travel agencies, this suggests those in the travel industry share a collective goal and vision for the future of airline and travel, meaning implementation will not be an issue.

It is also probable that there will be high consumer demand for NDC and One Order benefits, so airlines will be forced to adapt to the new standard and form part of the new travel ecosystem to ensure they retain customers.

By creating more transparency across travel, from travel agents to duty-free shopping, it will be easier to manage air bookings and streamline workflow within the travel industry.

Ubimecs: IATA’s NDC capable omnichannel commerce platform

If you need help creating a new passenger experience that streamlines all of your channels into one omnichannel, consider Ubimecs. Ubimecs makes the successful implementation of NDC and One Order possible. Everything from arranging pricing to selecting legroom options for customers can be controlled on the Ubimecs omnichannel. Not only will this be easier for you to manage and control, but your customers will benefit from easier booking and effortless travel.

As Ubimecs is integrated with IATA’s new NDC standards, introducing our services to your business will ensure you stay ahead of the curve and meet customer demand for DCA compliance.

If you’d like to learn more about Ubimecs and how adopting the NDC and One Order standard could improve your business, do not hesitate to contact Ubimecs today. A member of our expert team would be happy to discuss the new standards with you and explain how we could help your business. We look forward to hearing from you!

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