Travelport is on track to facilitate bookings through the New Distribution Capability (NDC) application programming interface (API) by the middle of the year, according to CEO Gordon Wilson.

NDC is an XML messaging standard that IATA says will enable airlines to personalize offers and sell all products, including ancillaries, through travel agencies.

Speaking on the company's fourth-quarter earnings call on Tuesday, Wilson said the company is "heavily engaged" with five or six major airlines to implement NDC API connectivity into Travelport's system.

"The challenge is, basically, how do you put that content alongside the more traditional content," Wilson said. "A lot of these more established airlines ... basically want to mix and match some content from the API, some content from how they filed fares traditionally."

Travelport is hoping to facilitate bookings through the NDC API by mid-year, at least on a pilot basis, he said.

The company holds the most advanced IATA NDC certification as an aggregator, Level 3, and is currently the only GDS to hold that level of certification as an aggregator.

Also on Tuesday, Travelport announced a set of products that will include NDC content: a connection for airlines via NDC-standard APIs, a point-of-sale application for travel agencies offering NDC-enabled content alongside the GDS workflow in the Travelport Smartpoint desktop; and an integrated search, book and manage function combining NDC content and GDS content in the same workflow.

The point-of-sale application is expected to be introduced in the second half of the year, followed by the integrated function, which will be offered to agencies on Travelport's solutions.

For the fourth quarter, Travelport's net income increased by $54 million from a net loss of $9 million in 2016 to net income of $45 million in 2017. For the full year of 2017, net income increased by $125 million to $140 million.

JDS Travel News JDS Viewpoints JDS Africa/MI