Air Canada, American Airlines, Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and US Airways, plus the Airline Tariff Publishing Company, announced the formation of their Open Airline XML Integration Standard 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 named as executive director Jim Young, a travel distribution veteran who helped found the industry's existing XML standards body, now called OpenTravel.
"The Open Axis 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," according to a press statement. "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. The Open Axis Group will advocate on behalf of its membership in the promotion of industry standards and distribution practices."
Those wishing to use the group's messaging standard do not need to become members, according to the statement. According to Air Canada senior director of distribution Graham Wareham, the group "was formed out of the industry's requirement for more standard connectivity between airlines and third party distributors in support of merchandised content."
Provided by Farelogix, the group's XML schema "supports the full range of airline transactions, from straightforward booking and passenger name record 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 electronic miscellaneous document management," according to the statement.
Full membership including the right to vote on group matters is available only to airlines, the group stated.