Galileo is urging suppliers and subscribers in the Middle East to focus on e-ticketing if they are to meet the extended IATA deadline of 96.5 per cent e-ticketing by 31 May 2008.
Galileo is highly committed to e-ticketing and is concerned that an extension to the deadline will result in a slowdown in e-ticketing plans in the Middle East & Africa.
Rabih Saab, Galileo’s vice-president for the Middle East and Africa, explains the benefits of e-ticketing.
“The benefits of e-ticketing are indisputable. E-tickets enable passengers to check in and board their flights without a paper ticket. This not only saves costs by eliminating the need for printing and posting paper documents but also saves agents’ time. What’s more, e-tickets are far safer and more secure than printed tickets. They are much harder to counterfeit. Also, as they are not posted, the tickets can no longer get lost in the post or be sent to the wrong address.”
“IATA’s target of 96.5 per cent e-ticketing will not only save a significant amount of time for the agent and the customer but will also save the airline industry at least US$ 3 billion per year. The paper savings will have huge environmental benefits, too.”
“Facilitated by the advancements in technology, the process is now very straightforward. When a customer books a flight from any travel agent or via the internet, the details of the reservation are stored in a computer. A confirmation number is assigned to the passenger, along with the flight number(s), date(s), departure location(s), and destination location(s). When checking in at the airport, the passenger simply presents positive identification. Boarding passes are then issued and the passenger can check luggage and proceed through security to the gate area in the usual way.”
“All parties benefit from e-tickets. They are more efficient for the customer, the agent and the airline. And the paperless approach has a huge global environmental impact, saving acres of forests worldwide.”
Meeting the Deadline
Even though the deadline has been postponed from December 2007, we need to continue to focus on plans for e-ticketing. Global e-ticket penetration is now around 82% but is just 47% in the Middle East & Africa. If e-ticketing remains a priority, we will be able to meet the IATA deadline in this region.
Galileo is committed to e-ticketing in the Middle East & Africa and, indeed, across the globe. In fact, three out of every four tickets issued on a Galileo system are now electronic. We were the first company to bring e-ticketing via a GDS in Pakistan. We have now 67 airlines within the region which are eTicket enabled. Our agents can now transmit ticket information directly to the databases of key airlines in the region. We have also activated virtually all carriers from the list of Top 100 ticket volume producers. We want to work closely with our subscribers and suppliers to help those who have not yet signed up to e-ticketing to meet the IATA deadline.
On top of that we see more and more take up of our June 2005 launched e-ticketing solution for agents/ airlines that operate in non-Billing and Settlement Plan (BSP) markets. These agents can request via Galileo to have their eTickets issued in the airline’s system which, once authorised by the airline, allows all parties to work more efficiently by preventing manual entries.
We firmly believe that Galileo’s e-ticketing product can facilitate business growth for agents. Our Viewtrip product enables passengers to view their itinerary and print their e-ticketing receipts instantly. Our extensive reporting feature helps agents to tally their manual work with the actual issuing of the tickets.
Galileo currently has 170 active e-ticket participants in 93 countries. As a direct result of e-ticketing, Galileo is saving a minimum of 14 acres of forest per month.