The ongoing battle over the International Air Transport Association's (IATA) New Distribution Capability (NDC) or Resolution 787 is far from over.
Some 117 corporate travel managers, travel agency executives and industry stakeholders from 16 countries wrote to IATA's Director General Tony Tyler asking that IATA clarify its policies and codify guarantees that Resolution 787 would not adversely impact the industry, the Business Travel Coalition (BTC) reports.
BTC said IATA should assure the travel industry on key issues, including 787's impact on current airfare transparency, consumer choice, personal data privacy and airline and distribution channel competition.
The BTC reports that the coalition of industry stakeholders "carefully reviewed" the statements by the IATA Annual General Meeting (AGM) in June regarding Resolution 787, and the included New Distribution Capability (NDC).
The letter to IATA's Tyler states: "We seek to encourage IATA as well as other market participants in pursuing all manner of innovation in travel distribution. If IATA could provide more specifics about the components of its recent assurances and how these assurances would be incorporated in an amended Resolution 787, then we could consider adding our voices of support to an amended Resolution 787."
The stakeholder coalition said they welcomed IATA's statement of principles and intentions from the recent meeting in Cape Town.
"However, the stakeholders proposed five more definitive statements as alternatives to those published by IATA that the coalition could endorse and believes could earn worldwide travel industry support for an amended Resolution 787."
"It is difficult to have a constructive industry discussion regarding Resolution 787 without complete, unambiguous and accurate statements from IATA regarding exactly how the program would be implemented," German Travel Association (DRV) President Juergen Buechy said. "When 240 airlines, many of which are horizontal competitors, and many of which dominate in their home markets, agree to a new worldwide pricing and distribution standard, much is at risk for stakeholders. Promises are nice to have but at the end all stakeholders require guarantees that their concerns are heard and properly addressed."
The coalition said it urged Tyler to withdraw IATA's application for approval of the present Resolution 787 now before the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).
They urged that IATA amend Resolution 787 after sufficient stakeholder consultations to include the coalition's principles. IATA could then resubmit the application to DOT for approval of the amended Resolution 787.
In a related move the Open Allies for Airfare Transparency sent a letter to IATA CEO Tony Tyler urging IATA to withdraw the "contradictory and flawed" Resolution 787 and to work with other stakeholders in the travel industry on a more constructive approach. Vist http://btcnews.co/1aPJ875.
Open Allies also reports it filed a Surreply with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) in response to comments from IATA on Resolution 787. The Surreply can be accessed at http://btcnews.co/1bIGpKs.
Open Allies for Airfare Transparency is a coalition of nearly 400 independent distributors and sellers of air travel, corporate travel departments, travel trade associations and consumer organizations.
IATA has vigorously defended its proposed NDC Resolution 787 and has said it is willing to work constructively with the industry.