British Airways has opened up three new APIs on a trial basis to spark innovation in the travel and airline industries. The Shop and Order APIs arrive during a broader movement in the airline industry by the International Air Transportation Association (IATA) to transform air product retail. The initiative, named the New Distribution Capability (NDC), has developed a new NDC standard for market adoption of XML-based data to enhance communication between airlines and travel agents.
"British Airways is proud to be one of the first airlines to take part in this game-changing, industry-wide collaborative initiative led by IATA," Ian Luck, British Airways' distribution strategy manager, commented. "These APIs help us to support innovation in the market and encourage new entrants by lowering the barriers to entry and developing new and exciting selling channels."
The APIs available during the trial grant developers and third-party applications access to search flights, prices and complete bookings. The Air Shopping API allows users to search for pricing and availability. The Flight Price API validates price quotes and lists payment options. The Order and Create API completes flight booking, processes payment and issues a ticket.
The Shop and Order APIs utilize the NDC standard. In addition to the functionality listed above, British Airways has already announced future expansion plans. Seat maps, favorite seat reservations, additional baggage, lounge access and more specific flight details will be available via the Shop and Orders APIs later this year. British Airways believes the APIs provide richer content, product differentiation and new selling opportunities beyond basic pricing and schedules. For more information, visit the Shop and Order API plan or register for an API key.