Airlink adopting IATA’s New Distribution Capability

8th May 2024

By: Rebecca Campbell

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor


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South African regional and domestic airline Airlink has announced that it is to implement the New Distribution Capability (NDC) for its transactions with the travel trade, with effect from July 31 this year. NDC was launched by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and is a data exchange format, using Offer and Order management processes to enable airlines to create and distribute relevant offers to customers, irrespective of the distribution channel.

NDC is supported by the travel industry. It replaces the around 40-year-old Electronic Data Interchange for Administration, Commerce and Transport protocol.

“By introducing NDC, Airlink and its industry partners can start taking advantage of the way airlines content is made available,” highlighted Airlink CEO and MD Rodger Foster. “Importantly, this allows us to reduce costs while also enhancing our competitiveness.”

The transition to, and implementation of, NDC is the result of more than a year’s work by the airline’s commercial department. This step keeps the carrier in line with the advances in global aviation, travel and tourism distribution systems. To develop and test its NDC system, Airlink partnered with Thomalex. The airline has now also appointed Thomalex as its first NDC aggregator partner.

“The introduction of IATA NDC by Airlink will provide our partner agents with an unparalleled level of service and access to richer content,” he explained. “Partner agents can seamlessly service their bookings, manage ancillary services, provide real-time updates, and resolve customer inquiries promptly. Ultimately, this is about ensuring [that] Airlink remains abreast of industry best practices while strengthening long-term sustainability and providing significantly-enhanced benefits for our trade partners and joint customers.”

Airlink will continually evaluate further connectivity solutions, and partners that could be onboarded in future, in order to extend its global reach through the NDC. To be able to take advantage of the richer content and preferential terms available through NDC, the airline’s trade partners will also have to transition to the NDC.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter


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