New IATA distribution project hits European legal stumbling block
IATA’s proposals for an airline ancillary platform has hit its first hurdle as travel agents’ associations in Europe file concerns with the European Commission.
IATA’s New Distribution Capability, an XML-based platform to sell ancillary products, was unveiled at its annual World Passenger Symposium in Abu Dhabi in October when 30 airlines voted in favour of proposals.
At the time many travel industry organisations spoke out about the initiative, voicing concerns over their lack of early involvement, fare transparency issues and the costs involved in developing new systems for travel agents.
Global distribution giants also gave their reaction with Sabre saying:
“Based on our extensive evaluation and deep technical analysis of IATA’s proposal, our conclusion is clear. We do not see how the proposed NDC approach would work in the real world without sacrificing fare transparency, limiting comparison shopping and compromising data privacy rights.”
Now, the Guild of European Business Travel Agents (GEBTA) and the Group of National Travel Agents and Tour Operators’ Associations (ECTAA) have jointly sent letters to the Commission’s DG MOVE (transport division) and DG COMP (competition division).
The letters express concern over the compliance of IATA’s proposals with European legislation including competition law, transparency of air ticket prices and personal data protection.
Tnooz has asked IATA for a comment.
It is too early to say what how the authorities are likely to react.
NB: Flags image via Shutterstock
Linda Fox is deputy editor for Tnooz. For the past eight years she has worked as a freelance journalist across a range of B2B titles including Travolution, ABTA Magazine, Travelmole and the Business Travel Magazine.
In this time she has also undertaken corporate projects for a number of high profile travel technology, travel management and research companies.
Prior to her freelance career she covered hotels and technology news for Travel Trade Gazette for seven years. Linda joined TTG from Caterer & Hotelkeeper where she worked on the features desk for more than five years.