SEOUL -- By the end of next year, more than 20 airlines will use New Distribution Capability (NDC) solutions for at least 20% of their indirect sales, an IATA official has predicted.

NDC enables airlines to present richer and more diversified content in the travel agency channel, enabling agents to sell ancillary products and personalized offerings. 

Addressing the media at IATA's Annual General Meeting in Seoul on Monday, IATA director of distribution services Eric Leopold said that IAG (parent of British Airways and Iberia) has already said that NDC-enabled solutions are powering 17% of its agent sales. 

Lufthansa Group (parent of Lufthansa, Swiss and Austrian Airlines) has said that the combination of direct and NDC-enabled sales account for more than 50% of total sales, Leopold added. 

Twenty-one airlines have signed up for the IATA NDC Leaderboard initiative, saying they aspire to reach the 20% NDC threshold by the end of 2020. U.S. carriers in that group are United, American and JetBlue. 

A significant recent advance in NDC adoption came in April when United became the first airline to make use of Sabre's NDC capabilities. Agencies partnering with Sabre on its Beyond NDC initiative can now make NDC bookings with United.

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