Delivering merchandising content through XML-based direct connections

Farelogix is working on an enhanced XML Direct Connect technology that enables airlines to sell ancillary products and services across multiple indirect channels.

Published: 28 Apr 2010

Farelogix is working on an enhanced XML Direct Connect technology that enables airlines to sell ancillary products and services across multiple indirect channels.

The enhanced technology has been developed exclusively for airlines that intend to control the distribution of their bundled, branded, and ancillary products.

The newly enhanced XML Direct Connect technology is currently in production.

According to the company, its XML-based direct connection, inclusive of new merchandising support capabilities, enables easier and more economical connectivity to various internal airline systems.

Carriers can choose to dynamically create unique offers, such as pricing bundles and ancillary services, based on customer criteria such as corporation, agency affiliation, and frequent flyer status.

“This capability – to package, personalise, and ultimately control their product offering – has never before been possible for airlines, outside of their own websites,” said Farelogix president and CEO Jim Davidson.


Davidson said that each airline determines who gets access to its XML Direct Connect.

Each airline’s XML Direct Connect includes a normalised “standardised-yet-flexible” application program interface (API) that the airline can utilise internally and/or choose to make available to its distribution and channel partners. With one single development effort, a third party developer (or GDS, or any other intermediary), can be “plugged in” to all of the direct connect airlines. It is then up to individual airlines to decide which connections actually get activated, or “switched on”.

Currently, over 40 third-party companies are actively developing to the Farelogix standardised XML API, which includes full support for Electronic Miscellaneous Documents (EMD’s).

SPRK Agency Platform

In a separate but related initiative, Farelogix has recently expanded its pilot programme for the SPRK Travel Agency Platform, which is being used in production by travel agencies in Canada, the United States and Germany.

Farelogix SPRK is a travel agency point of sale that is fully integrated with all Farelogix direct connect airlines, including the airlines mentioned above as well as US Airways, Emirates, Singapore Airlines, and Lufthansa. Additional carriers – including Etihad, Qatar, Ethiopian, Austrian, and others – will be phased in over the remainder of 2010.

All of the airlines will be offering full-content reservations and post-booking servicing, with a growing number also offering selected bundled products and ancillary services at the point of sale.

Cory Garner, director of merchandising, American Airlines said that the most successful airlines and travel agencies will be those that offer corporate and leisure customers more visibility, choice, and control of their optional services spend.

Garner added, “Travel agencies using SPRK can simultaneously access airline fares and optional services from multiple content sources in a single screen. And, since SPRK is available at no charge, it provides agencies with a risk-free window into the future of travel distribution.”

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