Skip to main content

New Distribution Capability (NDC) corporate travel glossary

New Distribution Capability (NDC) corporate travel glossary

3 min
Posted: 02 October 2023
Jet Wing In Sky

NDC: A glossary for grasping the lingo around NDC

Confused by some of the technical terms associated with NDC? Use this glossary to get up to speed on the jargon linked to the airline industry’s new data exchange technology.

ancillary services

The extra perks and services airlines offer (e.g., seat selection, priority boarding, checked baggage, etc.) that may be included in the main offer or as separate services; NDC aims to make it simple for airlines to sell these extras through travel agents, and not just on their websites.


Application Programming Interface: A way for two or more computer programmes to “talk” to each other; APIs make it possible for airlines, travel agencies, and other partners to exchange real-time data and offer personalised travel options – core aims of NDC.

direct channel

When airlines sell their products and services directly to travellers through their websites and mobile apps.

dynamic pricing

A pricing strategy the airlines use to modify fares in real time based on demand, availability, and market conditions. NDC APIs enable airlines to communicate and share real-time data with travel agents and other distributors, which is essential for impromptu price adjustments.


Electronic Data Interchange for Administration, Commerce and Transport: A well-established computer language that travel suppliers and global distribution systems (GDSs) use to deliver travel content. However, due to its limitations in transferring rich content, EDIFACT hinders airlines' ability to sell and promote their products.


Global distribution system: A computerised network used by travel agencies and online booking platforms to access and book travel-related services, such as airline reservations, hotel accommodations, and car rentals.


International Air Transport Association: the trade group for the airline industry that launched NDC to improve how airline content is distributed.

indirect channels

When airlines use alternative distribution channels, such as GDSs and other intermediaries, to sell their products and services. These intermediaries connect to airlines’ NDC APIs to access and display offers, fares, and ancillary services.


Minimum Marketable Product: An evolving framework created by American Express Global Business Travel that describes the capabilities needed to make NDC work for business travel.


New Distribution Capability: an IATA-led initiative that employs XML data exchange technology to improve how airlines sell and market their products. It enables airlines to create and deliver relevant offers to customers, regardless of the distribution channel.

offer and order management processes

This involves adapting offers to the preferences and needs of each traveller (offer management) and ensuring that bookings and transactions for the options chosen are managed effectively (order management). These processes have now become more sophisticated with the implementation of NDC.

rich content

More detailed visual information that airlines can supply to travel sellers and other intermediaries to help promote their product offerings. Going beyond traditional fare and timetable information, it can include videos, images, seat maps, detailed descriptions, etc. to enhance the airline ticket purchase experience.


Extensible Markup Language: a new data exchange language that supports rich content and retail sales. NDC uses XML to enhance how airlines promote and sell their products.

If you’d like to find out more, here’s how we’re striving to make NDC work for business travel.

Was this content helpful?

Looking for better business travel solutions? Get in touch with us.