The move will help Indian reduce transaction cost per ticket by $3-4. That is a total annual saving for all airlines of about $42-58m. However, this may not be passed on to travellers. Commenting on cost savings, Anil Goyal, director (commercial), Indian, said: “The bigger benefit is convenience.
This has no impact on ticket pricing, which is dealt with separately.” However, the offtake of e-tickets will depend on how fast travel agents are equipped to deliver e-tickets. At present, about 900 of the approximate 1,400 IATA certified travels agents can issue e-tickets.
And there are an additional 4,000-5,000 non-IATA certified agents across India. When asked about the move towards e-ticketing, Ankur Bhatia, managing director, Amadeus India, said: “Within US, there is a 90% e-ticket adoption and in Europe it's about 50% at present. The move will help Indian align with the rest of the world.”
About 14.3m paper tickets are issued by airlines every year and this number is growing at 25% annually. A mere 0.5m are e-tickets. The IATA directive ensures that the rest will move to the digital format by end-'07.