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International Air Transport Association begins 100 days E-Ticket Countdown

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International Air Transport Association has begun the 100 days to 100% e-ticketing countdown . “In 100 days the paper ticket gets put in a museum. On June 1, 2008 we will achieve 100% electronic air ticketing,” said Giovanni Bisignani, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

International Air Transport Association began the drive to 100% e-ticketing as part of its Simplifying the Business programme in June 2004 with the dual goals of making travel and shipping more convenient and more cost efficient. The programme began with five projects – Bar Coded Boarding Passes (BCBP), Common Use Kiosks for Self Service (CUSS), RFID for aviation, e-ticketing and e-freight with annual industry savings of US$6.5 billion. It has since expanded to include the self-service oriented Fast Travel project and an industry Baggage Improvement Programme.

“E-ticketing is the flagship project of Simplifying the Business. While a paper ticket costs US$10 to process, e-ticketing reduces that cost to US$1. The industry will save over US$3 billion each year by offering the passenger a better service. There is no better win-win proposition,” said Bisignani.

When the programme began in June 2004, only 18% of air tickets issued globally were e-tickets. Today e-ticketing penetration is over 93%. “It is an incredible industry success story. When we began over 28 million paper tickets were issued each month. We have reduced that number to less than 3 million,” Bisignani said.

Challenges remain. E-ticketing penetration in Africa is only 83% and has reached 84% in Middle East North Africa (MENA). The real concern is Russia and CIS, which is at 54% due to a late start while the government changed legislation to allow for e-tickets. “Combined, these regions represent 8% of total volume. IATA’s 150 experts are working with the airlines in these regions to close the gap quickly. If we can bring the convenience of e-ticketing even to small remote island airports with no electricity, I am confident that with some hard work in the final stretch we will be successful,” said Bisignani.

Consumers can anticipate more convenient travel in an electronic world. 100% ET eliminates lost air tickets, makes itinerary changes easy and enables a wide array of self-service options.

“We are entering a new age for air travel. The consumer has spoken. They love the convenience of e-ticketing and now want to combine it with self-service options to have more control over their journey,” said Bisignani. “We are already seeing the ET effect. Online and kiosk check-in are at all time highs. Even newly introduced mobile phone check-in is rapidly gaining popularity. IATA is pushing Simplifying the Business to the next level with its FastTravel project. FastTravel will bring a wide array of self-service options, in a streamlined process, from reservation to arrival.”

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