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IATA - New Distribution Capability ?
The IATA Passenger Distribution Group approved a new model, a framework and principles, for air travel distribution. Airlines distribute their products either through travel agents (around 60%) or via their own websites, reservations centers and sales offices. Customers have the ability to shop and purchase tickets at their convenience and to comparison shop. Travel agents rely on Global Distribution Systems (GDSs) to compare airline offers and book tickets, but these GDSs were built on 1970s technology standards well before the internet existed. The goal was to find an itinerary to a destination, at a time and price that was acceptable to the passenger. Because this model focused on finding the lowest fare and not on the attributes of the product being sold, it contributed to the commoditization of air travel. Beginning in the 1990s, the emergence of the internet enabled airlines to develop their own websites introducing ancillary services and empowering customers to choose and purchase only those services they desire. However, actually airlines do not have an industry solution to offer the same options for these products via travel agents using GDSs, and IATA new goal is to develop new distribution standards to enable airline product differentiation. IATA (International Air Transport Association) represents some 240 airlines comprising 84% of global air traffic.