Airlines closer to 100% eticketing goal

With 18 months remaining until the 100 percent eticketing deadline set by IATA and airlines have achieved 54 percent.  Global electronic ticketing (ET) penetration in its billing and settlement plans (BSPs) reached 54% as at the end of June with 18 months remaining until the December 31, 2007 deadline for 100% ET.

Penetration increased by 5% during the second quarter and 21% year over year.  156 airlines, responsible for 87% of BSP ticketing volumes, are now issuing electronic tickets.

In June the largest increases occurred in Asia Pacific (+4% to 47%) driven by upsurges in Thailand and Micronesia (+5%), Philippines (+4%), India and Japan (+3%). Within the region the highest ET use is in Micronesia (86%) followed by New Zealand (81%) and Australia (77%).

North Asia ET penetration rose 3% to 42% and Europe was up 2% to 67%.  Some of the largest gains were recorded in Europe where Malta led with +16% (to 31%) followed by Greece +12% (to 29%), Turkey +11% (to 33%) and Cyprus +10% (to 18%). In other parts of the world Tunisia increased by +12%, and Uruguay by +8% although the ET levels in MENA and The Americas remained unchanged at 8% and 68% respectively.

Some of the largest monthly increases made by individual airlines in June were achieved in Africa by Nationwide (+20%), in Asia Pacific by Royal Brunei (+13%), in Europe by Air Malta (+13%) and Turkish (+17%), in China by Lucky Air (+25%) and in the Americas by Aerorepublica (+46%) and Lineas Aereas Azteca (+19%).


Currently five airlines are issuing 100% electronic tickets, five more are at 99% and a further 13 airlines are above 95% ET. The largest airline in this group is DBA of Germany.

Airlines issued 6 million more ET in June 2006 compared to the same month last year.  The largest volume increases - over 500,000 each - were by Iberia, China Southern Airlines and Air France.  The latter has now joined Iberia in being the only airlines to have issued over 1 million electronic tickets in a single month.

Common Use Self Service Check-in

During the second quarter the number of airports using common use self service (CUSS) check-in rose from 29 to 35 meeting the industry target for 2006. The six airports included: Narita, Frankfurt, Geneva, Newcastle, Cologne and Keflavik.
Additionally in May, IATA signed new memoranda of understanding with Royal Jordanian and the Jordan Civil Aviation Authority to implement CUSS and Bar Coded Boarding Passes (BCBP) at Queen Alia International Airport (QAIA) in Amman, Jordan. 

Bar Coded Boarding Passes

At the IATA Annual General Meeting held in Paris, France in June, IATA’s Board of Governors set a deadline of 31 December 2008 for airlines to implement the capability to issue industry standard bar coded boarding passes (BCBPs) which enable web check-in for multi-leg and interline journeys.

The industry must fully replace costly magnetic stripe boarding passes now being used at airports as well as other solutions using 1D (one-dimensional) bar codes with BCBPs by the end of 2010.

The use of bar codes on boarding passes has grown in popularity over the past eight years as airlines roll out web check-in functionality which allows passengers to print boarding passes at the office or home and go directly to the gate. Before IATA’s standard was published, boarding passes issued by the world’s airlines online used proprietary 1D bar code solutions for point-to-point travel. Bar coded boarding passes use IATA 2D (two-dimensional) bar codes that are industry standard, can hold more data and can therefore be used for interline travel.

Web check-in saves airlines US$3.58 per check-in for passengers with baggage, US$5.34 for those without. Savings add up to US$500 million annually.

During the second quarter four airlines, Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Monarch Airlines and Jersey European Airways introduced BCBP bringing the total number of airlines doing so to 18.

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) for Aviation

IATA’s Board of Governors, recognising the potential applications of RFID in other areas of aviation, has asked IATA to explore its use for cargo, freight, in-flight and aircraft parts management. IATA is working with industry partners to assess needs and develop solutions. This is in addition to delivering the business case for the use of RFID for baggage management.

RFID baggage trials are taking place worldwide to prove the technology works. To date, IATA has signed memoranda of understanding to support baggage trials with Malaysian Airports, Narita, Doha Airport and Qatar Airways, Milan Airport (MXP) and Asiana Airlines.

IATA e-freight

As the result of research that revealed that not one government currently has the legal framework, technology, and business framework in place that fully allows IATA e-freight to operate, IATA is lobbying for legislation that enables air cargo shipments to travel without being accompanied by paper documents. 

Additionally IATA is making progress toward its target of securing the formal commitment of 5 countries by December 2006 for e-freight early implementation in 2007. Singapore, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Sweden, and Netherlands are being targeted as prime candidates. Once commitment is secured, IATA will set up local stakeholder implementation groups to drive e-freight implementation.

The e-freight project will also shortly be releasing an information pack to vendors who will commit to supporting 2007 pilots, industry electronic data interchange (EDI) message improvement and the global vision for e-freight.