Russia’s major air carrier Aeroflot has begun to sell tickets online, according to the Itar Tass news agency. “This is a technological breakthrough for the entire industry, a new product and new quality,” the airline’s director general Valery Okulov said.
“In the first place, this method of selling tickets offers more conveniences to passengers, apart from the fact that such tickets are 10 U.S. dollars less expensive than if they’re sold in printed form,” he said. “One can buy a ticket anyplace around the globe anytime during the day by using our global booking system.”
Aeroflot plans stimulating the sales of e-tickets by online promo actions, information on which can be found on its website at www.aeroflot.ru , along with instructions on how to fill out customer forms correctly.
Okulov said the airline’s executives hope this system will increase the seat-load factor and attract more new passengers.
“Unfortunately, the process of ticket sales in Russia necessarily involves cash registers and cash receipts, and that’s why customers buying tickets on the internet will have to come to our airline’s offices to pick them up at first, but as of this summer the system will make it possible to get the cash receipt and boarding pass right at the airports,” Okulov said.
He recalled that new rules of the International Civil Aviation Organization prohibit all offline sales of air tickets for international flights as of January 1, 2008.
Over the time that is left before this date, Russian airlines will have to fully reorganize the sales of e-tickets and to make themselves more competitive in the global market.
“We hope to begin sales of tickets through the global system of distribution as early as in April,” Okulov said.