Six East Europe airlines sign up to SITA

SITA has signed six airlines in
Albania, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Russia to the SITA Consumer Online Reservations
Service, it was announced today at the European Regions Airline Association annual
conference in Athens.The six airlines - Albanian Airlines, Azerbaijan Airlines, Dalavia Airlines,
Georgian Airways, Tatarstan Airlines and Vladivostok Avia - can all look forward to
significant growth in their online sales with immediate savings on distribution
costs of at least 5% per ticket issued. It also gives a boost to the universal
introduction of e-ticketing which IATA estimates saves airlines a further $9 per
ticket.

Ilya Gutlin, SITA Regional Vice President for Eastern and Central Europe, said:
“Online ticket sales have reached about 35% worldwide. However, in Russia and
other regions where e-commerce is quickly evolving, current online booking levels
are still in single percentage figures, so SITA is very pleased to partner with
these six airlines to improve consumer choice and help these airlines reduce their
costs.

“VLM, a carrier in Europe with 800,000 passengers, saved over $1.3m in GDS fees in
2006 using SITA E-Commerce and E-Ticketing. These savings equate to 1% of the
carrier’s turnover and show the impact online booking can have on the
business.”

Russia has the highest growth rate of internet adoption running at 600% since 2000,
according to the Internet World Stats, and such growth will translate to major gains
for Russian airlines with on-line booking capability, as each booking that is made
directly by consumers on an airline’s website eliminates third party payments such
as GDS fees.

Nearly 75% of tickets issued by European carriers are e-tickets but, as reported in
the 2007 Airline IT Trends Survey, there are still 13% of European airlines not
issuing any. Direct consumer bookings on an airline’s website speeds the adoption
of e-tickets which itself facilitates alternative self-service check-in options
leading to further cost savings for the airline.
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