Calgary-based low-cost carrier (LCC) WestJet said it has become the first Canadian airline to receive IATA New Distribution Capability (NDC) level 2 certification, confirming the LCC’s ability to send and receive NDC messages.

NDC is an IATA-led initiative to enhance the capability of communications between airlines and travel agents.

“The benefits of IATA’s NDC are robust and clear for both the travel trade industry and the consumer,” WestJet VP-sales and distribution Lyell Farquharson said. “As WestJet continues to unbundle our products and add ancillary options, these new capabilities allow us to integrate and collaborate more effectively with travel industry partners around the world to benefit our guests. The investment in NDC is one of many investments we have made in the last year to support our market leading capabilities and growth in the business traveler segment. We know this new capability will make it easier to obtain WestJet's content, enhance the product offering to guests and provide a seamless experience starting with the booking process,” he said.

IATA NDC program director Yanik Hoyles said NDC is “modernizing the way that airline products are presented through travel intermediaries, providing travel customers with richer content and increased transparency.”

According to a WestJet statement, “NDC paves the way for travel agents and travel management companies to add value to their customers by being able to access all relevant aspects of the WestJet experience from cabin details and baggage allowance to upgrade options, as well as book flights and ancillaries such as meals and selecting seats from WestJet.”

Linda Blachly linda.blachly@penton.com