New Distribution Capability (NDC)
New Distribution Capability or NDC is a new communication standard launched by IATA in 2015 with the goal of replacing the old EDIFACT data exchange that has been around since the 1980s and is used by GDSs.
It’s an XML standard that allows airline service providers to deliver rich content (e.g., descriptions and aircraft images) and ancillaries (extra bag allowances, onboard WiFi, etc.) directly to online travel agencies, GDSs, metasearch engines, and travel management companies via a set of standard APIs.
There are three NDC integration options:
- Airline NDC or direct connection with carriers via their own NDC API,
- GDS NDC or connecting through the GDS’s NDC channel (all the major GDSs have adopted NDC), and
- NDC platforms and IT providers that connect airlines and distributors (e.g., SITA, Farelogix, or OpenJaw Tech).