‘India not fully ready for airline e-ticketing’

May 31st, 2008 - 8:39 pm ICT by admin  

Mumbai, May 31 (IANS) India is not yet fully ready for the e-ticketing in all air travel that comes into effect Sunday, feel some tour operators here. The apex air transport monitoring body International Air Transport Association (IATA), which comprises 94 percent of all airlines, has announced that from Sunday all air ticketing around the world will switch to the electronic mode.

But Travel Agents Association of India President C.V. Prasad told IANS: “All airlines are not yet ready for 100 percent e-ticketing. We are asking the IATA to extend the deadline so that travel agents, airlines and passengers are not put to inconvenience.”

He claimed that in the US, IATA has deferred the implementation of 100 percent e-ticketing due to the intervention of the government.

“Those travelling to a destination by two different carriers, which do not have an interline agreement will bear the brunt by way of increase in fares by 20 to 30 percent and longer time frame to get their tickets,” he said.

According to the association, several carriers operating to India cannot or will not switch over to 100 per cent e-ticketing. Most airlines do not issue e-tickets for infant and group travel.

Ankur Bhatia, executive director of travel firm Bird Group and managing director of ticketing software company Amadeus India, believes Indian travel industry is ready to take off into the paperless era.

“India is 95 percent e-ticketing compliant as compared to the global e-ticketing compliance of 96.8 percent (by April 30) and is likely to meet the 100 percent e-ticketing deadline,” says a confident Bhatia.

Besides financial benefits, he feels e-ticketing will also augment data security and speed.

Data obtained from Amadeus suggests over 50 airlines have had e-ticket percentages in excess of 95 percent. Moreover, 70 of the 77 carriers that sold tickets in India last year through the Amadeus system were e-ticket enabled.

According to IATA, cent percent e-ticketing will save up to $3 billion per year. Paper tickets costs up to $10 whereas an e-ticket costs $1.

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