IATA seeks DOT approval of distribution plan

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IATA has filed with the Department of Transportation for approval of Resolution 787, which is IATA's effort to set what it calls "high-level objectives" for XML standards.

Central to Resolution 787 is IATA's New Distribution Capability, a polarizing concept whose supporters believe will create a brave new world of airline retailing and distribution.

Opponents believe it will undermine the ability to comparison shop and put intermediaries such as travel agencies at a disadvantage.

IATA said in its application that its members will continue to consider the goals of NDC, but its application for the approval of Resolution 787 applies only to its description as a "means to modernize distribution communications technology with a new XML standard" and not of NDC it itself.

IATA said in its application that it is not seeking an endorsement of the "marketplace aspirations of NDC."

Programming language is important because it is the way airlines communicate with the marketplace—either their own websites or with third-party distributors.

IATA seeks to set standard data formats for basic information necessary for getting the price of an airline ticket and any accompanying services.

For decades, the airline industry has been using an older language called EDIFACT which is a robust language that can handle the huge volume of air transactions but takes a lot of bandwidth and is expensive to program.

XML, in contrast, is less expensive to program.

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