The Airlines Reporting Corp. (ARC) has begun using the Travelport EMD Interchange, a new electronic miscellaneous document (EMD) ticketing solution that addresses the issue of disparate technical standards used by airlines.
EMD Exchange acts as an interpreter, translating diverse versions of XML or Edifact into the single electronic language standard preferred by each airline.
Although attempts have been made to establish standards for the use of XML—the efforts of the OpenTravel Alliance and IATA’s NDC initiative are examples—there are numerous flavors and versions floating about in the marketplace.
Even the relatively new NDC standard has gone through several versions. And Edifact, developed in the 1980s, remains the technical standard for many airlines throughout the world.
The new EMD Exchange allows airlines to use their existing communication lines, regardless of distribution system or technology, to implement EMD Interchange, reducing complexity and maintenance costs.
It simplifies messaging requirements between ARC’s Interactive Agency Reporting tool and airlines’ EMD databases. Airlines can easily establish and synch EMD messaging directly between their EMD database and IAR.
Travel agents selling ancillary products and services can then void, refund or cancel refund transactions directly in IAR for airline carriers.
EMD Exchange also allows airlines to expand their reach and increase revenues by expanding ancillary sales to their code-share and interline partners.
Any airline that issues EMDs through Travelport can use EMD Interchange. Air Canada is the first carrier to adopt the technology. Based on requests and interest ARC has received so far, it projects that more than 70 carriers are likely to adopt EMD Interchange over the next three years.