Underscoring the changes underway in travel distribution, the Open AXIS Group reports 20 new members including Alaska Airlines who has joined as a full member and has become a member of the board. In addition, Air France and KLM and Copa Airlines (Panama) have also joined as full members.
The group reports membership has continued to grow over the past six months as more airlines and allied members start work on direct connect distribution and pursuing adoption opportunities. Membership now includes a total of 43 members, 10 of which are airlines, Open AXIS reports.
“The addition of these new members illustrates growing demand from airlines and technology companies alike for a comprehensive XML standard for airline connectivity,” stated Jim Young, executive director of Open AXIS Group. “In particular, we’re seeing increasing momentum for traveler authenticated direct distribution and our growing membership base reflects the extension of the Open AXIS message outside of North America to Latin America, Europe and Asia.”
New Allied Members include TravelSky (China), Agentware, Inc., ARTA, ARTA Canada, Fare Compare, FlightView, Goldenware Travel Technologies, Hipmunk, Intelisys Aviation Systems, KDS, MindTree Limited, Motocol LLC, Open Jaw Technologies LTD, Rearden Commerce, SkyScanner LTD, Travelguard Worldwide, Inc. and Travel Technology Research.
Open AXIS Group’s primary goal is advocacy and the promotion of eXtensible Markup Language (XML) as the optimal electronic messaging structure for airline system connectivity used in content distribution. The organization says it has already established a proven XML schema as the baseline for its standard and will work closely with its members to adopt, promote, enhance and maintain this schema to create a robust industry standard that addresses the needs of both the supply and demand sides of the travel supply chain.
According to Jean Wieviorka, vice-president, Corporate & Distribution, Air France KLM, the reasons for the airline’s membership in Open AXIS Group is clear: “There is no doubt that travel distribution is changing, and this XML standard not only simplifies messaging and content distribution, but also benefits all parties along the travel distribution supply chain.”
“Being a member of the Open AXIS Group gives Copa Airlines the opportunity to join a community of airline and allied members focused on distribution innovation,” added Mariel Palau Vasquez, assistant director, Distribution, Copa Airlines. “As the market evolves, we are constantly seeking ways to distribute our product through our agency partners in a more effective way.”
The current Open AXIS Group XML schema supports the full range of airline transactions, the group notes. They include straightforward booking and Passenger Name Record (PNR) management transactions, as well as more complex transactions involved with multiple passenger management, ticketing, exchange, refunds, voids and various merchandising related transactions including optional services, bundling, Electronic Miscellaneous Documents (EMD) management, and payment and settlement solutions.
With support from its Full and Allied Members, Open AXIS Group will provide a robust, standardized XML schema that addresses both current and future needs of the travel industry, the group says.
Membership in Open AXIS Group is open to any entity that operates in the travel industry, including the airlines (Full Members) and other third party developers, Global Distribution Systems (GDS), travel agencies, associations and consultants (Allied Members).
There is however no requirement to join Open AXIS Group to use its messaging standard, which can be downloaded at www.openAXISgroup.org. Full Members have the right to actively engage in and vote on all matters put before the membership, including those relating to enhancements and extensions to the Group's XML standard. Allied Members can provide feedback on and participate in the development of the Group’s XML standard. They can also voice their recommendations on future enhancements, the group reports.
Open AXIS Group’s founding airline members are American Airlines, Air Canada, Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and US Airways. ATPCO is a founding Allied Member.
Open AXIS Group is a member-based, not-for-profit organization founded by North America’s largest airlines and ATPCO. Its primary goal is maintenance, advocacy and promotion of Distribution 2.0, a technology and distribution practice standard that utilizes eXtensible Markup Language (XML) for airline system connectivity used in full-content distribution.