IATA has approved Amadeus as the first GDS to provide its Electronic Miscellaneous Document (EMD) for travel agencies.
The adoption of the EMD standard for agencies is designed to cut costs, enable automated reporting and accounting of the sale of ancillary services while delivering a single electronic document to travellers detailing all the items they have purchased.
The standard is described as being essential to the effective selling of fast-growing airline ancillary services such as extra legroom, in-flight meals and baggage fees.
All GDS providers have been told to ensure the industry’s EMD standard is available to agencies in all Airlines Reporting Corporation and Billing & Settlement Plan markets by the end of 2013.
EMD is part of an IATA e-services drive to eliminate paper processing from the industry and save the airline industry $2.9 billion a year.
Amadeus claims to be the first in the industry to be compliant with the full solution. It has replaced a current tool with the new electronic version to issue documents for standalone travel-related services such as lounge access and vouchers.
It has also enabled the collection of payments for a variety of ancillary services, such as excess baggage and specific meals.
The Amadeus’ EMD introduction is underway in Finland with the first travel agents set to go live in the first quarter of 2011.
An additional 20 markets will be functional during 2011, with a further 70 markets going live during 2012.
The remaining 70 IATA BSP markets will be operational in 2013 in order to meet the industry target, according to Amadeus.
Amadeus distribution product management director Rudy Daniello said: “Amadeus is pleased to be the first to offer the industry a full solution for travel agencies that is critical for industry profitability.
“Travel agencies will now have a single standardised method to issue the sale of all airline services, fully integrated into their system, which will provide a more efficient way of keeping track of spending.”