Abacus has reported that in March 2007, its level of airline bookings issued as electronic tickets had passed the 60% mark for the first time and more than 81% of all Abacus tickets are now ET-ready.The 61.4% adoption for electronic ticketing (ET), during March 2007, was approaching double the 35.5% level of electronic ticketing recorded in the same month last year, said Abacus International President and CEO, Mr Don Birch.
“The surge in electronic ticketing is a positive indication towards the achievement of IATA’s goal of 100% electronic ticketing by the end of 2007. The market is showing that it can adopt this cost-saving initiative at an accelerating rate and it will need to continue doing so to hit IATA’s target,” Mr. Birch said.
“E-tickets are not only more secure and convenient for customers, but they offer substantial cost benefits for airlines and travel agencies, saving approximately US$9 per ticket issued, so there is a motivation to adapt as fast as the airlines can prepare their systems and processes.”
Abacus issued some 9.3 million e-tickets in 2006, reflecting a year-to-year increase of 94% from 2005 while the number of paper tickets issued has declined by 25% over the same period.
Regional markets such as India, South Korea (106%) year-on-year growth in March 2007, The Philippines (80%) and Thailand (93%) have demonstrated the highest levels of e-ticketing penetration, reflecting growth figures, while India recorded a notable 5,624% more e-tickets processed by Abacus in March 2007, than the corresponding month a year earlier. Other South Asian markets to gain (March 2007 over March 2006) were: Malaysia (62%), Indonesia (57%), Singapore (29%). North Asia also chimed in strongly with the growth in e-ticketing with Hong Kong attaining 60% year-on-year growth in March, and Taiwan (25%).
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is currently striving for 100% e-ticketing by 31 December 2007, which is expected to save the industry up to US$3 billion annually as part of its ‘Simplifying the Business’ programme to improve customer service and deliver industry savings of US$6.5 billion every year.