Sabre Airline Solutions and Worldspan have jointly implemented a new message routing technique that streamlines communications links between the two interline e-ticketing hub providers. They estimate this process improvement will cut interline electronic ticketing activation times for airlines by 50 percent.
Previously, e-ticketing connections between airlines operating on different host systems (such as Sabre and Worldspan) required a unique communications link. The new “hub-to-hub” connection does away with the need for a distinct communication layer between each interline connection.
This is an important development as airlines work to meet the International Air Transport Association (IATA) mandate for 100 percent electronic ticketing by the end of 2007. The benefit for carriers is the ability to activate interline electronic ticketing projects with more of their valued airline partners. Many carriers are in the process of evaluating long lists of interline partners and making business decisions about which partners will be included in interline electronic ticketing plans. Faster activation capabilities will allow carriers to include more interline partners as they move to electronic ticketing.
“One hundred percent electronic ticketing by 2007 makes travel more convenient for consumers and more efficient for airlines by using existing technologies,” said Tom Murphy, IATA senior vice-president of industry distribution financial services. “But we must speed up the implementation of interline electronic agreements. If we don’t, airlines will limit their ability to work together to deliver and profit from a global network. I am delighted to see innovation being brought to speed up this process. The new approach eases co-operation between hub providers and should accelerate implementing interline electronic agreements. It’s good for consumers and for airlines. And it’s just what IATA would expect from its Simplifying the Business (StB) preferred vendor and partners.”
The hub-to-hub connection was first implemented by Worldspan and Sabre Airline Solutions as part of an interline connection between Midwest Airlines, connected to the Interline Electronic Ticketing Hub component of SabreSonic Ticket, and Northwest Airlines, connected to the Worldspan Interchange Hub.
With awareness in cost reductions for carriers and heightened customer satisfaction across the industry, carriers have begun using e-ticketing as both a cost advantage and an additional customer-centric offering. With electronic tickets, airlines reduce costs associated with the production of paper tickets and the manpower needed to facilitate their use, while increasing customer satisfaction through the proliferation of more convenient and easier to execute transfers. It is these benefits that led to a resolution by IATA for 100 percent e-ticketing by the end of 2007, a challenge the industry is addressing quickly.