Official Airline Guide
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (February 2012)|
OAG, formerly Official Airline Guide, is a United Kingdom-based business providing aviation information and analytical services sourced from its proprietary airline schedules, flight status, fleet, MRO and cargo logistics databases. OAG is best known for its airline schedules database which holds future and historical flight details for more than 1,000 airlines and over 4,000 airports. This aggregated data feeds the world’s global distribution systems and travel portals, and drives the internal systems of many airlines, air traffic control systems, aircraft manufacturers, airport planners and government agencies around the world. The organisation operates globally and has offices in Europe (UK and Netherlands), Asia (Singapore, China and Japan) and the Americas (United States and Canada). OAG is organised into three customer-facing channels: OAG Aviation, OAG Cargo and OAG Travel.
The OAG business dates back to 1853 when it first published the ABC Alphabetical Railway Guide, later to inspire Agatha Christie’s novel The ABC Murders. The origin of the OAG brand dates back to 1929 when the "Official Aviation Guide Of The Airways" was first published in February 1929 in the United States, listing 35 airlines offering a total of 300 flights. After the Guide was taken over by a rival publication in 1948 the September issue carried the Official Airline Guide title for the first time. The “ABC World Airways Guide” containing maps and tips for travellers was first published in the UK In 1946. The integration of the ABC and OAG brands occurred following the acquisition of Official Airline Guides Inc. in 1993 by Reed Elsevier which already owned ABC International. In August 1996 all products from the combined ABC and OAG businesses were rebranded as OAG.
In 1958 advances in computer technology enabled flight schedules to be sorted and presented by city pair, instead of under separate sections for each airline timetable. This Quick Reference Edition initially included North American flights; starting in 1962 a separate International Quick Reference Edition covered the rest of the world. The two Timetable Editions continued in the traditional format for several more years; the last Worldwide Timetable Edition was March 1969.
In 1962 OAG began providing data to the first computer reservations systems and produced its first customised timetable for airlines. In 1970 the OAG Pocket Flight Guide was published, enabling business travellers to have a pocket-sized resource of flight timetables to take with them. This is still published today, in four regional versions. OAG participated in the development of the IATA Standard Schedules Information Manual (SSIM) for the interchange of airline schedules data. This was established in 1972 and is still the primary source of protocols and formats for the global airline industry. The OAG Electronic Edition was launched in 1983. This was OAG's first online travel planning tool, containing both flight and fare information and available via more than 20 system operators including Compuserve, Dow Jones and Viewtron. Additional databases (weather, arrival/departure information) were added in 1988. The company produced the industry’s first PC-based travel planning tool on CD-ROM in 1991, which was so revolutionary that it was supplied with a plug-in CD drive. OAG launched its pioneering analytical tool in 1998, and also its first browser-based travel information product. The Swedish CAA became its first internet timetable customer and the following year Cathay Pacific became the first airline to give its Frequent Flyer Club members online access to OAG Travel Information System through its website. As an early adopter of wireless technology, OAG made its flight information available on the Palm VII wireless organizer in 1999, followed a few months later by its first WAP mobile phone application.
After five years under private ownership OAG was bought by United Business Media in December 2006 to strengthen its aviation, transportation and travel business interests.
OAG is organised into three customer-facing channels: OAG Aviation, OAG Cargo and OAG for the Traveller.
OAG Aviation provides the air transport industry with the most accurate single source of global airline information and analytical services. Its portfolio includes airline schedules distribution; real time flight status information; timetables; codeshare synchronization and flight connection marketing. OAG utilizes its databases to provide market intelligence on aircraft fleets, capacity supply, traffic demand, financial and operating performance, and MRO (maintenance, repair & overhaul) forecasting. Its customers include airlines, airports, travel distributors, aircraft manufacturers, financial institutions, government agencies and aviation service providers.
OAG Cargo delivers decision support tools that can be integrated into an organization’s workflow to optimize the planning of shipments by air. Its portfolio includes solutions for routing and shipment planning; dangerous goods regulations and compliance information; real-time access to air freight rates and schedule data; operational announcement services; cargo tracking and analysis solutions and multi-media cargo schedule products. Its customers include freight forwarders, airlines and logistics providers.
OAG for the Traveller
OAG for the Traveller provides comprehensive and unbiased online, mobile and print planning tools for travel arrangers and travellers. Travel planners use OAG products for access to all scheduled flight options for efficient itinerary planning, choices and changes. Travellers use OAG products for in-trip access to flight schedules and services to make their travel more convenient.