17 July 2013, BERLIN and WASHINGTON - Some 117 corporate travel managers, travel agency executives and industry stakeholders from 16 countries and 5 continents today wrote to International Air Transport Association (IATA) Director General Tony Tyler asking that IATA clarify its recent proclamations and codify guarantees that Resolution 787 would not adversely impact current airfare transparency, consumer choice, personal data privacy and airline and distribution channel competition. (The letter can be read at www.btc.travel)
The coalition of industry stakeholders carefully reviewed the statements by the IATA Annual General Meeting (AGM) regarding Resolution 787, and the included New Distribution Capability (NDC), that were issued by the AGM in Cape Town on 3 June 2013 as well as related explanations to regulators of the assurances the AGM sought to provide.
The letter to Mr. Tyler states: "We seek to encourage IATA as well as other market participants in pursuing all manner of innovation in travel distribution. If IATA could provide more specifics about the components of its recent assurances and how these assurances would be incorporated in an amended Resolution 787, then we could consider adding our voices of support to an amended Resolution 787."
The stakeholder coalition expressed to Mr. Tyler that they welcomed IATA's statement of principles and intentions from a recent meeting in Cape Town. However, the stakeholders proposed five more definitive statements as alternatives to those published by IATA that the coalition could endorse and believes could earn worldwide travel industry support for an amended Resolution 787.
"It is difficult to have a constructive industry discussion regarding Resolution 787 without complete, unambiguous and accurate statements from IATA regarding exactly how the program would be implemented," stated German Travel Association (DRV) President Juergen Buechy. "When 240 airlines, many of which are horizontal competitors, and many of which dominate in their home markets, agree to a new worldwide pricing and distribution standard, much is at risk for stakeholders. Promises are nice to have but at the end all stakeholders require guarantees that their concerns are heard and properly addressed," added Mr. Buechy.
The coalition urged Tyler to withdraw IATA's application for approval of the present Resolution 787 before the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT); amend Resolution 787 after sufficient stakeholder consultations to include the principles embedded in the new Cape Town proclamation, with substantially the specifics and guarantees set forth in their letter; and (3) resubmit the application to DOT for approval of the amended Resolution 787.
Kevin Mitchell 610-999-9247; Mitchell [at] BusinessTravelCoalition.com
Founded in 1994, the mission of Business Travel Coalition is to interpret industry and government policies and practices and provide a platform so that the managed travel community can influence issues of strategic importance to their organizations.
Business Travel Coalition
214 Grouse Lane, Suite 210
Radnor, PA 19087