A Primer On IATA’s NDC – And Whether Your Organisation Should Adopt It

In a nutshell, NDC (New Distribution Capability) is a standardised set of XML standards developed by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to facilitate direct communication between airlines and flight content distributors.

This allows distribution partners access to an airline’s products, ancillaries and other marketing content directed at the end consumer, with the objective of being able to better articulate the airline’s differentiating factors from their competitors.

Compared to the traditional way of distribution through electronic data interchange standard EDIFACT via a Global Distribution System (GDS), NDC promises to address current limitations by providing:

  • Customised shopping experiences – making it easier for consumers to purchase airline ancillaries such as airport lounge access and priority boarding
  • Access to full and rich content such as images and videos
  • Personalised fare quotes
  • More dynamic offers

Currently, there are at least 54 airlines that are already NDC-certified – although widespread adoption will still take time.

PriceBreaker Corporate and NDC content

As one of Singapore’s largest Travel Management Companies (TMCs), PriceBreaker Corporate is able to offer NDC content from Singapore Airlines and British Airways.

Integration with more airlines’ direct content is also underway, on top of our existing product range.

“Integration with other major airlines such as American Airlines and Lufthansa is in the pipeline, and we’re looking to onboard other airline partners as their offerings are being rolled out progressively,” says Raymond Goh, Vice President of PriceBreaker Corporate.

Should your organisation sign up for NDC content?

While airlines are enticing companies to adopt NDC content namely through offering corporate discounts, a few points for consideration needs to be highlighted.

NDC is still in its nascent stage, and faces normalisation challenges as GDSs continue to dominate flight content distribution, although some companies have started to partially adopt NDC content.

Nevertheless, most of these adoptions are via technology aggregators, as this is by far the most economical and efficient method of integrating various airlines’ content, as compared to a direct integration with individual airlines.

At the same time, few airlines have truly harnessed the full range of NDC capabilities as promised. Hence, NDC content remains limited in its ability to fully showcase differentiating factors in each airline’s offerings.

For corporate travellers, limitations in the booking capabilities associated with NDC content may also hinder adequate provision of duty of care under certain scenarios as, for example, booking changes can only be made post-ticketing.

“As developments are still ongoing, corporate procurement managers should continue to stay updated on NDC and together with their appointed TMC, evaluate whether this new standard is suitable for their corporate travel management programme, ” says Albert Hong, Vice President of PriceBreaker Corporate.

“Corporate travel booking is higher in complexity than leisure travel booking. Corporate procurement managers need to keep top of mind, the key objectives of their travel management programme – such as duty-of-care, policy compliance and analysis of travel spend. Whether the utilisation of NDC content aligns with these objectives remains questionable at present.”

For an in-depth discussion on whether NDC content is suitable for your organisation, get in touch with our professional Travel Consultants.


With more than 40 years of experience managing integrated travel programmes for public sector organisations, educational institutions, MNCs and SMEs, PriceBreaker Corporate’s team of specialists based in Singapore are ready to help you and your employees travel with a peace of mind. 

Our MICE brand, Accolade, has experience serving large delegations over the years – hosting events such as the Singapore Airshow since 2014.

Speak to us today and let us help you navigate the new normal with a travel programme tailored to your business needs.