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Air Merchandising Project Update

June 10, 2011

@font-face { font-family: "Verdana"; }p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal { margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; }a:link, span.MsoHyperlink { font-family: "Times New Roman"; color: blue; text-decoration: underline; }a:visited, span.MsoHyperlinkFollowed { color: purple; text-decoration: underline; }div.Section1 { page: Section1; } The OpenTravel Alliance has decided to address the challenge of airline product and service merchandising using advanced XML technology.

The project, underway since April, will extend existing OpenTravel air distribution messages including search, availability and booking to include functionality to support the distribution of all internal and external ancillary products now available by airlines.

In addition, the team has decided to create new structures using XML business objects to support rapid application development processes and to allow the use of the more sophisticated XML tooling available to architects and developers.

What does this mean in plain language?  IT departments in airlines, distribution companies and technology providers can now move more quickly to meet commercial and passenger needs, using lighter-weight messages that can be implemented, tested and moved to live production much more quickly than traditional XML schema.

“XML technology is evolving and OpenTravel is join that evolution,” says Valyn Perini, CEO of OpenTravel. “The use of XML business objects will allow airlines and their partners to better support fast changing passenger demands in the distribution of ancillary products and services.  We are the only standards body in the travel industry working with business objects, and we’re thrilled our airline industry members are working with us.”

OpenTravel member companies participating in the project include Datalex, Amadeus, Travelport, IATA, Cybage, Travel Technology Interactive, ATPCO, United/Continental Airlines, OpenJaw, IBM, Sabre, SITA, US Airways, HP and SkyTech Solutions.

A true industry-wide initiative, OpenTravel reviewed documents submitted by IATA, Open Axis, Datalex and the GDS’ to help determine the best set of data available to support the technology.  Datalex, a founding OpenTravel member, had a robust set of schema that the team felt met their needs.

“Airlines across the world are embracing merchandising strategies to drive revenues and enhance retail experience. The expectation is that over 20% of airline revenues can be driven by effective merchandising of ancillary products and services and key to this is the agreement on open standards for distribution to all direct and in-direct customers and partners. ” says Ornagh Hoban, Vice President of Datalex.  “Datalex are pleased to contribute the TDP merchandizing schema to OpenTravel to accelerate innovation and industry system interoperability.  As a founding member of OpenTravel, Datalex will continue to collaborate and cooperate with all OpenTravel members for the advancement of industry XML standards.”

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More information about the project can be found on the OpenTravel wiki.

OpenTravelMerchandisingUpdate.doc (91.00 KB)