Mouse Trail

PARIS, June 5, 2006 (AFP) – Nearly one out of two airline tickets issued to travellers is currently in electronic form and paper tickets are on track to disappear completely by 2007, International Air Transport Association (IATA) said Monday. The association, which represents 265 airlines accounting for 94 percent of international air traffic, indicated that it would begin penalising members that failed to introduce electronic tickets by the end of next year.

The organisation said that nearly 50 percent of tickets were electronic now, but that it was aiming for 70 percent by the end of this year and 100 percent by the end of 2007.

“The real challenge is to accelerate the pace of implementation to meet the targets of 70 percent of penetration in 2006 and 100 percent by the end of 2007,” said IATA chairman Robert Milton.

IATA, which is holding its annual general meeting here, believes that phasing out paper tickets could save the industry more than 3.0 billion dollars (2.3 billion euros).

Electronic tickets costs 1.0 dollar to issue, versus 10 dollars for a paper ticket. IATA said earlier that it expected the global airline industry to lose three billion dollars this year.