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Airlines, ATPCO Form Open AXIS Group

July 15, 2010 By: George Dooley

Six major airlines— Air Canada, American Airlines, Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and US Airways— have formed the Open AXIS Group to promote a standardized XML (eXtensible Markup Language) schema as the optimal electronic messaging structure for airline system connectivity used in content distribution. The Group also invited the Airline Tariff Publishing Company (ATPCO) to serve as the founding Allied Member for the Open AXIS (Airline XML Integration Standard) Group.

“Having an industry standard XML schema is critical for the airlines but also for all the third-party developers working in partnership with airlines,” said Cory Garner, director of merchandising strategy at American Airlines. “Development and integration resources are always a scarce asset in any company. Having this standard provides a one-stop shop for modern airline connectivity. In today’s environment, no one can afford to support multiple, one-off connections.”

The group’s 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.

The Open AXIS Group’s standard XML schema supports the full range of airline transactions, from straightforward booking and PNR management transactions, to more complex transactions involved with multiple passenger management, ticketing, exchange, refunds, voids and the various merchandising related transactions including optional services, bundling, and EMD management.

The Open AXIS Group will also function as a travel industry resource and forum for all industry entities interested in the use of XML as a standard in general, and in the Open AXIS Group’s XML standard specifically.

Travel industry veteran Jim Young will serve as Executive Director. Young has extensive airline distribution and marketing experience, and was intricately involved in the formation of the Open Travel Alliance standards group.

“ATPCO’s mission is to lead the airline industry in defining standards and implementing industry solutions,” states Young. “The Open AXIS Group has recognized ATPCO’s success as an airline advocate and standards body. While the Open AXIS Group is an independent standards organization, it strategically sought out ATPCO’s participation to assist the Open AXIS Group in maintaining common standards integrity and interoperability with the existing ATPCO standards.”

There is no requirement to join Open AXIS Group to use its messaging standard. The Group’s standard XML schema is open and available to all. “Anyone can visit our web site, register as a user, and download the schema and available documentation,” adds Young.



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