Airlines Create Group To Advance Ancillary Services Standard - Business Travel News

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Airlines Create Group To Advance Ancillary Services Standard

July 13, 2010 - 12:40 PM ET

By Jay Boehmer

The five U.S. legacy airlines, along with Air Canada and ATPCo, on Tuesday announced that they have formed the Open AXIS Group, an organization with the mission of creating a standard for distributing ancillary airline services based on Extensible Markup Language, initially developed by Farelogix. 

Taking its name from an acronym that stands for Airline XML Integration Standards, the Open AXIS Group said its mission is "to expand the adoption, promotion, enhancement and maintenance of a robust airline industry standardized XML schema capable of delivering comprehensive functionality to both the supply and demand sides of the travel supply chain."

Air Canada, American Airlines, Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and US Airways are the first full members of the group and are joined by ATPCo as its first allied member. The organization said it is opening membership to other airlines, which would have full voting rights, and allied members, comprising other industry participants "seeking to provide feedback on, and participate in, regular communications about the group's XML standard, including a voice in recommending future enhancements."

AXIS claims it already has gained interest from other airlines outside of North America in addition to other potential allied members, some of which could announce involvement as soon as this week. "They'll be significant," said Open AXIS Group executive director Jim Young, who also is managing partner at consulting firm Festival Vacations and a former exec at Frontier Airlines, Intercontinental Hotels Group and Continental Airlines.

"There is no requirement to join Open AXIS Group to use its standard. The group's standard XML schema is open and available to all," Young said, noting anyone can register at the Open AXIS website to download the schema and build upon it in the effort to "build a more robust standard." He continued, "The first standard that you see right now is sourced from Farelogix, but through membership growth, allied members and other platform developers that have schema themselves, we hope to grow that and make it even more robust than it is today."

The Open AXIS Group said the schema would support "the full range of airline transactions," including booking, PNR management, ticketing, exchange, refunds, merchandizing transaction, electronic miscellaneous document management and others.

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