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Air Canada B787-9-RockiesAir Canada has announced its New Distribution Capabilities (NDC) program, featuring new benefits, expanded content, and additional support for agencies and travel buyers. This modernized product distribution strategy uses IATA NDC industry standards to offer Air Canada’s complete content at the best possible prices, giving agents access to Air Canada inventory, fares, ancillary services, ticketing, and digital products.

As part of Air Canada’s modernization efforts, the NDC program will provide a competitive alternative to legacy distribution, improving competitiveness and the customer experience. Travel agencies will have flexible options to access Air Canada’s NDC program, including through Global Distribution Systems (GDS).

The NDC program will offer an efficient shopping experience for retail fare products and eliminate select debit memos. Continuous pricing, as well as the addition of Flight Pass, is planned for 2023. Upgraded service and support levels include dedicated business and IT teams, 24/7 monitoring, and near real-time system status. Additional servicing automation options and order change notifications are also slated for this year.

Air Canada conducted extensive third-party research to hear first-hand what agencies and customers want from airlines. Its program design addresses critical requirements, including inventory, revenue, functional capabilities, and transition costs.

“We recognize the time and effort required by agency partners to transition to new technology and we are committed to supporting them. Their feedback to-date has served to shape our implementation plans,” said Lisa M. Pierce, Vice President, Global Sales & Air Canada Vacations at Air Canada.

Air Canada will offer four flexible options for NDC access, each designed to suit different agency business models – from API integration and a free web-based tool to a growing catalogue of certified technology providers and a GDS-based solution.

As part of Air Canada’s modernization efforts, a Distribution Cost Recovery (DCR) will be introduced to address the high expense of legacy models. This DCR will apply to all tickets issued globally via GDS EDIFACT channels, effective June 14, 2023.

Many of Air Canada’s key agency partners have already begun implementing NDC connectivity, including Priceline, Flight Centre, Fareportal, Flighthub, Hopper, Maritime Travel, Skylink Voyages, and Travix. These and other early partners have the opportunity to drive requirements and new functionality as the program develops.

Air Canada is committed to providing information, support, and transparent communications, including an NDC hub at aircanada.com/ndc with up-to-date program information. Training opportunities, interactive webinars, and regular email communication will also be available.

The NDC program offers a promising opportunity for Air Canada to strengthen its relationships with its travel agency partners and customers. By implementing this modernized product distribution strategy, Air Canada can offer a broader range of travel options and services at the best possible prices, improving competitiveness and the customer experience.




Written by: Anne Keam