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Technology

 February 14, 2001
SITA And IATA To Provide Interline E-Ticketing Service

 SITA and IATA have entered into a strategic partnership to provide a global interline electronic-ticketing service to stimulate the wide-scale adoption of e-ticketing. It aims to help airlines reduce ticket processing and distribution costs, improve customer service and allow airlines to fully exploit e-commerce online channels.

Usage of e-ticketing is currently restricted by the lack of interfaces between airlines, ground handling systems and other third parties. The new service simplifies and streamlines the exchange of e-ticket coupon data between partners and third party handling agents. Several major airlines have already expressed an interest in the new service and are expected to be using it by mid-year. The estimated savings per ticket range from US$4 in the US domestic market to US$8 in international markets and e-ticketing is expected to achieve a 50% market penetration by 2005.

John Watson, Director General SITA, commented, "In order for airlines to fully benefit from the advantages of e-ticketing it is vital that they can rely on a neutral service to exchange electronic coupons. Passengers world-wide are embracing e-ticketing and as online ticket sales continue to grow airlines must look to remove all unnecessary paper and reduce their costs, streamline the processes and improve service levels."

Pierre Jeanniot, Director General IATA said, "Our data shows that 44 of the top airlines generate 95% of interline coupons and the new service will enable the airline industry to significantly increase the use of e-ticketing. It will also ensure that airlines can support the growth of both online sales and e-ticketing in a cost-effective way and provide passengers with the seamless service they demand."

SITA will develop and implement the solution, hosting the central e-ticketing databases on a neutral basis, providing access to a global network infrastructure and systems interfaces. It will also manage and operate the service and provide the sales, service delivery and customer support. IATA is responsible for policy and procedures relating to the management of e-tickets, including their numbering, administration, auditing and settlement, and will set up a user-group to assist with promotion and marketing.