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Airlines consigning paper ticketing to the past

Paper ticketing for flights is firmly on the way out, according to new research and growing trends in the aviation industry.

Paper ticketing for flights is firmly on the way out, according to new research and growing trends in the aviation industry.

New figures from Juniper Research have revealed that an estimated 2.6 billion mobile tickets will be delivered by 2011, signalling a respective decline in the number of paper tickets issued and dispatched – and a move towards bookings efficiency.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) recently extended its deadline for airlines to make a transition to 100 per cent electronic ticketing to May 31st 2008 – and mobile ticketing looks like being a key factor in meeting the target.

Cost savings for airlines is one of the main objectives behind the switchover initiative, with Juniper’s report now claiming that the adoption of mobile boarding passes could deliver the industry some $500 million (£251 million) in annual savings.

Hopes for the initiative were this week boosted by news that Saudi Arabian flag carrier Etihad Airways has already converted 93 per cent of its network to e-ticketing and is well on the way to meeting the IATA deadline.

Peter Baumgartner, Etihad’s executive vice president marketing and product, said: "There are many benefits with e-ticketing both in terms of security of the document, information contained within it and the impact on the environment by not printing paper tickets."

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