Distribution 2.0 and new Open AXIS transaction reporting toolNewsBy Dennis Schaal | November 8, 2010Share This article was originally published on With travel industry adoption of Electronic Miscellaneous Documents for the settlement of ancillary services perhaps years away, Open AXIS Group says it is readying the release of a new transaction-reporting tool as a stopgap measure.Jim Young, executive director of the newly formed airline XML standards body, says the group's new I-EMD is part of soon-to-be released Open AXIS maintenance schema and would allow travel management companies to report and track ancillary services transactions in their back offices.Open AXIS describes I-EMD as a virtual EMD image which "enables any corporate or agency point of sale tool to obtain ancillary service transaction detail directly from the airline, at time of purchase and ticketing."The I-EMD doesn't contain transaction data, Young says, but is merely a reporting tool. The I-EMD is fully compliant with the EMD standard, Open AXIS says.Young says Open AXIS came up with an interim ancillary services reporting solution because adoption of ARC/IATA EMDs, which will facilitate booking a flight and ancillary services in one credit card transaction, could be a prolonged affair."That will take money and time and agreement for that to happen and that could be a couple of years away," Young says.News about Open AXIS Group's I-EMDs came about with the release of a whitepaper, Distribution 2.0: Innovating the Airline Indirect Channel.In the whitepaper, Open AXIS calls for a number of steps to close the gap between merchandising on airline websites versus through indirect channels such as global distribution systems, corporations and travel agencies.Open AXIS advocates extending XML standards and messaging instead of EDIFACT, and support for traveler-authenticated shopping.By the latter, Open AXIS means merchandising based on "the traveler individual needs, negotiated corporate contracts, available inventory of options at a particular time, and loyalty program status."The group says its airline members want to take control of such merchandising and contends the GDSs are incapable of doing so.The GDSs vehemently deny the charge, saying their systems can tailor offers down to the traveler level.Open AXIS also calls for use of its I-EMDs so the distribution chain doesn't have to wait for years for distributors to adopt the ARC/IATA EMDs.TMCs and online travel agencies should lobby "distribution providers" to develop traveler-authenticated shopping "recognizing that green screens simply won’t suffice for product/service customization that competes with supplier.com," the whitepaper says.The concluding paragraph of the whitepaper states: We encourage all industry players to contemplate the potential damage that could be done should Distribution 2.0 and its benefits not be propagated across the Indirect Channel. These risks include the real likelihood that the Distribution Gap (Direct vs. Indirect) will continue to widen and the Indirect Channel will continue to lose its advantage. This does not serve anyone in the supply chain and is, in our view, a worst case scenario.Share this quote Young says Distribution 2.0 is not about direct connect and GDS bypass as most airlines acknowledge that they want to distribute through the GDSs, although this will require distribution evolution.He adds that Distribution 2.0 would bring a necessary upgrade to indirect channels.