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19 April 2024

IATA starts e-ticketing countdown

By Staff Writer

With only 100 days to go before the full implementation of its e-ticketing programme, the International Air Transport Association (Iata) said over 93 per cent of tickets being issued globally are e-tickets.


Giovanni Bisignani, Iata’s Director General and CEO is confident that the industry will achieve its targeted 100 per cent electronic ticketing before the June 1 deadline. He said in 100 days, the paper tickets will be a thing of the past for the travel sector.


“E-ticketing is the flagship project of Simplifying the Business. While a paper ticket costs $10 (Dh36.70) to process, e-ticketing reduces that cost to $1 (Dh3.67). The industry will save over $3 billion (Dh11.01 billion) each year by offering the passenger a better service. There is no better win-win proposition,” said Bisignani.


When the programme was launched in June 2004, only 18 per cent of tickets issued globally were e-tickets. “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,” the Iata chief added.


The agency began the drive to 100 per cent e-ticketing as part of its Simplifying the Business programme 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), Radio Frequency Identification (RIFD) for aviation, e-ticketing and e-freight with annual industry savings of $6.5 billion (Dh23.86 billion). It has since expanded to include the self-service oriented Fast Travel project and an industry Baggage Improvement Programme.


E-ticketing penetration in Africa is only 83 per cent while the Middle East and North African (Mena) region already implements 84 per cent of its ticketing transactions electronically. The real concern is Russia and CIS, which is at 54 per cent due to a late start while the government changed legislation to allow for e-tickets.


“Combined, these regions represent 8 per cent 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.


Iata claims that e-ticketing will promote convenience as it will eliminate problems through ticket loss. It will also make itinerary changes easy and enable a wide array of self-service options.