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NDC Guide

How does NDC compare to a GDS?

Compare NDC to traditional Global Distribution Systems (GDSs) in terms of fares, pricing structures, ancillaries, loyalty programmes, and more.


New Distribution Capability (NDC) is transforming the airline retailing landscape from the Global Distribution Systems (GDSs) that have defined the industry for decades. As a travel seller, it’s important to understand your options to help you build a successful business.

Discover how GDSs using EDIFACT compare to the modern NDC standard.

ConnectionNDCTraditional GDS
Airline coverageLimitedVery good
Access to lowest faresYesLimited
Distribution surcharge (Also known as GDS or EDIFACT fee)NoYes
Dynamic / personalised pricingYesNo
Continuous pricingYesNo
Rich content such as images and videoYesNo
Support for paid ancillaries such as seats and bagsFullLimited

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Comparison summary

NDC enables more product differentiation, faster go-to-market, better personalisation, and improved flexibility and transparency. However, NDC is not currently available across all airlines so travel sellers might need to integrate with multiple content providers depending on business needs.

Traditional GDSs have the largest breadth of airline connections, however, they have restricted product offerings, a lack of personalisation, and no support for rich content.

What are the benefits of NDC?

Learn more about how NDC improves airline retailing and customer experiences and explore exclusive NDC content from each airline.

Read more

GDSs implementing NDC

Since NDC is open to all technology providers, GDSs can also choose to integrate and access airlines' NDC content.

  • Amadeus has started to sign initial NDC airline agreements and has announced its launch of NDC in the United States. Amadeus plans to make more NDC-sourced content available to their travel sellers as integrations are completed.
  • Travelport offers access to NDC from a limited number of airlines and allows travel agents to book and manage NDC content directly with existing workflows on Travelport+.
  • Sabre plans to activate additional airlines and capabilities in 2022 in addition to a few live airlines.

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