Routehappy’s rich content is incorporated into NDC Exchange

Updated March 14, 2018, with information about Air Canada

Routehappy took a big step toward integration with its new owner, ATPCO, and toward moving the industry closer to the mainstreaming of NDC.

Routehappy’s rich airline content, organized on a platform for easy flight shopping, has been integrated into the NDC Exchange, a joint project of ATPCO and SITA first announced last October.

The exchange, which will be industry-owned, was developed to lower the barriers to adoption of NDC for air fare offers and ancillary sales.

The platform will provide simple, cost-effective API connectivity for airlines and their partners to facilitate the exchange of data.

The integration of Routehappy’s content will provide airlines with an easy means of distributing their Universal Product Attributes (UPAs) and Universal Ticket Attributes (UTAs).

UPAs provide relevant media to describe an airline’s product and services by aircraft type, cabin, time of day and other criteria. UTAs provide easy-to-understand benefits and restrictions by fare.

With UPAs and UTAs now available via NDC Exchange, airlines will be able to provide a consistent product offering across the entire travel distribution ecosystem.

“ATPCO is providing us with the ability to combine our pricing data with rich content so that all our product offering information is in one place,” Keith Wallis, Air Canada’s director of global product distribution, said.

The carrier is an existing Routehappy subscriber, and “NDC Exchange becomes even more valuable to us as it now allows us to quickly and simply provide our NDC Exchange distribution partners with product content combined with rich media in one connection.”

Routehappy created the UPAs and UTAs in standardized formats, and “as part of ATPCO, we’ll be looking to formalize rich content standards soon,” a spokeperson said..

Airlines will need to subscribe to Routehappy in order for UPAs to be delivered via the NDC Exchange.Once they are subscribed, airlines can distribute their UPAs via their own NDC APIs.

NDC, or New Distribution Capability, was first introduced in 2013 by IATA at the urging of some of its prominent airline members who were impatient with GDS companies’ lack of movement on the ability to sell ancillary products, particularly paid seats, through their systems.

For the next year, GDS companies and airlines squabbled over whether NDC was meant to bypass GDSs or simply serve as a technical standard to smooth the way for the sale of ancillary products and services/

The battle, which at times became quite heated, slowed the widespread acceptance of NDC.

Finally, the GDS companies dropped their opposition, but significant adoption among airlines, distributors and technology providers is a relatively recent phenomenon.

The NDC Exchange is designed to spur more of that adoption.

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Michele McDonald

About the Writer :: Michele McDonald

Michele McDonald is a senior editor at tnooz. She has worked as a journalist covering the travel industry for more than two decades. She is a former managing editor of Travel Weekly (US) and former editor-in-chief of Travel Distribution Report. In 2002, she founded Travel Technology Update, a newsletter for distribution professionals. She remains editor and publisher of Travel Technology Update. She also contributes to Air Transport World.



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