IATA Official Concerned As New Details On Airline Standards Group Emerge

After The Beat last week reported that some airline distribution execs were talking about creating a new standards body, Tnooz on Monday posted a similar item by Dennis Schaal. Today, he published quite a few more details including the apparent name of the group, OpenAxis; its plans to use Farelogix XML schema to focus on merchandising; pricing for participation; and its employment of Open Travel Alliance founder and former airline and hotel distribution exec Jim Young as "agent" and potential executive director. After the story in The Beat, we received feedback from folks concerned that such a body would fragment the standards business, including International Air Transport Association manager for ticketing and reservations standards Mike Irons.

Irons wrote, "The position that I don't really want to see is the airlines trying to set up multiple standards which in the long term will prove far more costly and complex to maintain. We are doing a lot of work in this field and thus I was surprised to see the statement about the new standards body. We are continuing to develop XML schemas for the benefit of the aviation industry and not just airlines, and thus feel it would be an ideal opportunity for the airlines to discuss their requirements with IATA ... perhaps we can head off a divergence in standard setting and develop an inclusive proposition."

One source told me an announcement of OpenAxis would be made on July 9, but as Schaal reported, that timing could change.