E-ticketing will save US$1 billion yearly by 2005

IATA survey revealed that more than half of business travelers planned to conduct Net bookings for travel arrangements.MANILA, 18 May 2000 (Asia Pulse) - The International Air Transport Association (IATA) believes that e-ticketing will be saving the airline industry US$1 billion annually in distribution costs.

IATA survey revealed that more than half of business travelers planned to conduct Net bookings for travel arrangements.

MANILA, 18 May 2000 (Asia Pulse) - The International Air Transport Association (IATA) believes that e-ticketing will be saving the airline industry US$1 billion annually in distribution costs.

The Association went ahead with GlobalET to fill a black hole in airline's e-commerce business. GlobalET will be service-managed and coordinated by IATA to ensure protection of airline confidential data and neutrality.

It will be noted that in 1999, some 43% of corporate travelers used electronic ticketing, a 60% growth since 1997. Last year, an IATA survey found more than half of the business travelers planned to use the Internet for their travel arrangements by 2004. GlobalET will ensure transaction authenticity, integrity and payment through Digital Security Service & Clearing House. The new interline electronic ticketing system, designed to allow airlines across the world to join the e-ticketing revolution, will be operational by middle of this year.

System integration
The development program -- the system is being constructed by IBM -- was completed in February, a little over a year after work got underway. But with only three months to go before the launch and despite heavy lobbying, no airlines have yet subscribed to the system. While many major carriers have used e-ticketing for some time, their individual systems are not integrated and, apart from one or two airlines which have bilateral agreements with partners, cross-airline ticketing is impossible.

According to Andrea Dutescu, IATA manager business development, there is limited consumer flexibility. "Travellers using e-tickets today do not have the flexibility to fly and if necessary re-book, on more than one airline on the same trip. And unless the e-tickets are issued by one of the few carriers with existing reciprocal agreements, airlines cannot support interlining of e-tickets," Dutescu said.

Neutral sales platform
IATA's resolution was to offer the industry a neutral, globally available, electronic ticketing service, which would provide airlines with an integrated interline electronic ticketing capability. It should also allow small airlines to enter the e-ticketing game without the big capital investment involved in setting up their own systems. Interlining of e-tickets and access to the system for carrier large and small is critical because of the rapid pace of growth in electronic bookings.

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