B2B airline messaging standards launched

ARINC and SITA released a detailed set of standards and specifications last week that the companies say will “enable the adoption of efficient, XML-based business-to-business messaging” for airlines.

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By  Barbara Cockburn Published  November 21, 2006

ARINC and SITA released a detailed set of standards and specifications last week that the companies say will “enable the adoption of efficient, XML-based business-to-business messaging” for airlines. The standards define a new messaging approach, Type X, which makes use of XML and web services technology to complement the existing industry Type B messaging. At present, both companies operate global networks, carrying an estimated 40 million Type B messages on a daily basis for airline reservations, passenger check-ins, baggage handling and data communication between airlines, global distribution systems, ground handlers and other travel service providers. The companies say Type X will enable more cost-efficient electronic communications than standard Type B, which currently is used by them in an estimated 40 million messages daily. A white paper has also been released by the companies, showing how Type X can potentially revolutionise the industry’s business communications, by lowering the cost of development, integration and operations, in addition to meeting the challenges of future applications. “The industry is in the midst of significant transition and under tremendous pressure to lower costs,” said Michael McShea, senior director of global product management for ARINC Network Solutions. “Web Services and XML-based messaging stand to improve collaboration dramatically in the industry, while lowering application development and maintenance costs for business to business integration, and increasing use of the internet.” The transition to XML will pave the way for changes being driven by the industry-wide implementation of e-ticketing and new security requirements for passenger processing, according to Mansour Rezaei-Mazinani, head of SITA’s network services engineering. “This will drive down spending on development and maintenance, reducing costs related to legacy platforms, and enabling faster integration of applications,” he said.

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