< PrevNext > Yanik Hoyles, International Air Transport Association New Distribution Capability program director NDC's Usher By Amon Cohen / December 12, 2018 Share Love it, loathe it or still not understand it, 2018 felt like the year the International Air Transport Association's New Distribution Capability reached a point of no return. Airline executive Hoyles joined IATA in 2011 and two years later became chief shepherd for the technical standard that helps airlines distribute through internet-based pipes to travel agents. According to Hoyles, this has been "a year of commitment and engagement along the value chain."At one end of that chain, he points to a Leaderboard of airlines committed to pushing 20 percent of indirect sales through NDC by the end of 2020. "Twenty-one carriers have put their hands up and said, 'We're in,'" said Hoyles. Next come the global distribution systems, which all have been "certified at the highest level and shared road maps for being in plug-and-play mode by 2019," Hoyles said. In all, 62 tech companies have been certified. Then there are the many travel management companies pledged to introduce NDC, some through their own technology while others await the GDSs.At the other end of the chain, the travel buyer is where Hoyles admits most engagement is needed. According to The Evolution of Air Distribution, a white paper released in October and based on an Association of Corporate Travel Executives and American Express Global Business Travel survey, 81 percent are not at all confident or are only somewhat confident in their understanding of NDC. Those who do understand it, meanwhile, are calling for more tangible benefits.In spite of the progress, "the numbers [of bookings through NDC] are very small," Hoyles said. However, he is not disappointed. "It took 13 years to move to e-ticketing," he said. "Consider how disruptive NDC is in comparison. Changing the pipes is very complicated in our industry."Don't bank on 2019 being the year the NDC switch is truly flicked, either. Hoyles predicted that a hockey stick curve will take a further 12 months. "It's going to go through the roof. 2020 will be the year we get to that critical mass."