The FINANCIAL — The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced the first investment by the NDC Innovation Fund, a strategic investment fund supporting innovation in airline distribution using the New Distribution Capability (NDC) standard. The NDC Innovation Fund is a partnership between IATA and Travel Capitalist Ventures (TCV), one of the leading travel-focused investment firms.
The Fund has agreed to invest in ETA, Inc. ETA, which stands for Executive Travel App, is a Silicon Valley-based start-up company developing a mobile application to support seamless travel shopping, buying and management for the $120 billion self-managed travel market. As part of the investment, ETA has committed to supporting the delivery of rich NDC-based content via its mobile platform, according to IATA.
ETA is chaired by Jeffrey Katz, who was the founding Chairman, President and CEO of Orbitz and who also previously served as CEO of Swissair, as well as in senior executive positions at American Airlines and Sabre Holdings.
“NDC will enable airlines to present ever-expanding travel choices to customers through the travel agent network. At the same time, air travelers increasingly want to make those choices via their mobile devices. This investment is an opportunity to demonstrate that the NDC standard is unleashing innovation and creativity across the spectrum of travel planning,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO.
“We are excited to invest in ETA as it develops an intuitive mobile application to seamlessly integrate personalized air, hotel, car, and in-destination services, while addressing key pain points across a business traveler’s journey.” said Abrar Ahmad, a Partner at Travel Capitalist Ventures. “The self-managed business traveler will be able to support key aspects of his or her business trip via this app, including cross-airline product searches, displaying a unified view of their journey, engaging in community-based content with other business travelers, receiving contextual business traveler focused notifications, and duty of care and post-journey reporting needs.”