The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced developments in three key initiatives:
- The Direct Data Service (DDS) was launched today as an evolution of the PaxIS product into a more powerful business intelligence offering
- The foundation standard for a new distribution capability (NDC) will be proposed during the week of 15 October at the World Passenger Symposium in Abu Dhabi
- The IATA Innovation and Partnership Awards (IPA) will replace the long-standing Eagle Awards with a broader approach to recognizing industry excellence
The announcements came in the State of IATA speech by Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO at the 68th IATA Annual General Meeting (AGM) and World Air Transport Summit being held in Beijing, China. The speech focused on IATA’s approach to delivering value to the air transport industry through strong partnerships and a long-term vision for change.
Direct Data Service (DDS): IATA launched, with the Airline Reporting Corporation (ARC), DDS. DDS is an evolution of PaxIS and an even more powerful business intelligence tool. The understanding of travel patterns facilitated by PaxIS is already helping airlines, airports, governments, and tourism businesses among other customers.
To move beyond the relentless legal challenges by Global Distribution Systems (GDSs) to PaxIS (primarily concerning data control), over the last two years IATA worked to obtain airline data directly from the airlines themselves. In addition to what is provided in the PaxIS product, DDS will also offer direct sales data for airlines that have chosen to provide this. DDS is a more powerful business intelligence tool than PaxIS or the combined capabilities of MIDT data products.
DDS is available for purchase from today by the participating carriers. Only airlines that contribute their data are able to subscribe to DDS, which contains 76% of the total data for global indirect sales. There are commitments from airlines to build this quickly, and we expect to reach 85% coverage of indirect sales data by year end and then on to 90% early in 2013.
PaxIS created a competitive product for airline business intelligence tools—a market previously dominated by the MIDT products of the GDSs. As a more comprehensive product than PaxIS, DDS is expected to enhance competition further. “Thank you to those first airlines that are already contributing their data and creating the critical mass to move forward. And for those airlines that have not yet gotten themselves on board, I encourage you to do so,” said Tyler.
Distribution: Tyler announced that the foundation standard for a new distribution capability (NDC) will be proposed to the Joint IATA-Airlines for America Passenger Services Conference taking place at the World Passenger Symposium for approval. This will take place during the week of 15 October in Abu Dhabi. The NDC will address the airline requirements for innovation in global distribution. This includes greater product differentiation than is currently available through GDSs, which facilitate ticket sales through travel agents that are responsible for some 60% of airline ticket sales. Developing NDC was a priority set by the IATA Board of Governors in December 2011. The foundation standard will set the vision and framework for the development of a complete set of NDC standards in the years to follow.
“Multi-million dollar airline product investments cannot break free of product descriptions limited to booking classes like F, C, or Y and their derivatives. And personalized offers based on availability, customer needs, preferences or histories are effectively impractical,” said Tyler.
“We will complete the definition of the NDC foundation standard this year. And I am confident that the GDSs will join as partners because progress cannot wait. I am also confident that the new platform will unleash innovation and new entrants that will revolutionize airline relationships with their customers. It will also impact IATA. In parallel with developing the foundation standard, we are evaluating what other innovations IATA can offer to ensure that we are delivering the greatest value in this area,” said Tyler.
IATA Innovation and Partnership Awards (IPA): Tyler announced the establishment of an award program to recognize industry partnerships that are delivering innovation and value to the air transport industry. The first IATA IPA Awards will be presented at the Association’s next AGM in June 2013. They will replace the Eagle Awards, which were first presented at the IATA AGM in 1998. The Eagle Awards were narrowly focused on recognizing cost efficiency gains by airports and air navigation service providers.
“Aviation is a complex value chain. Each partner has a role to play in delivering the success that is shared by all. We are focusing on fully developing those partnerships to maximize the industry’s potential. And in doing so, we should broadly recognize the best of the innovations that our partners are bringing to the table,” said Tyler.
A distinguished independent Selection Panel has been established comprising: Chew Choon Seng, Chairman of Singapore Exchange (former CEO of Singapore Airlines); Wolfgang Mayrhuber, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Infineon Technologies AG (former CEO of Deutsche Lufthansa AG); Emilio Romano, President of Telemundo (former CEO of Mexicana), Jeff Shane, Partner at Hogan and Lovells US LLP (former Under Secretary of Transportation for the United States) and Ashley Smout, Group General Manager, Operations New Zealand Post Group (former CEO of Airways New Zealand). Further details of the awards and nomination process will be released later in the year.