Vietnam Airlines hurries for e-ticket plan
Vietnam Airlines will launch its new service of issuing e-tickets for the air route from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City in November 2006.
According to Vietnam Airlines, passengers only need to provide their IDs or passports to check in after they make electronic bookings with the airlines. Credit card holders can make the payment for their air tickets through the Internet. They then will receive an email which confirms the booking and payment as well as includes necessary information about the flight.
If passengers don’t have credit cards they will still need to go to an air ticket agent to get confirmation. However, instead of being provided a ‘thick’ paper air ticket like what they get now, passengers will be given a much more simple ticket which contains information about the flight.
Vietnam Airlines has chosen SITA as the provider of the e-ticket service. Testing has been done on issuing e-tickets as well as check-in services within the airline’s system and it has proven to be much more convenient for both passengers and the airline.
In addition, Vietnam Airlines has sent a group of its workers to the Ukraine to learn more about the new service of providing e-tickets.
Vietnam Airlines has planned for the application of the service throughout 2006 and 2007. 1,200 of its workers are expected to be trained in how to operate the service. It is estimated that the operating service will cost the airline US$700,000.
Vietnam airlines worries that it will miss flights
The International Air Transportation Association (IATA) recently informed Vietnam Airlines on the roadmap of implementing the Billing and Settlement Plan (BSP). Accordingly, after December 31 2007 paper air tickets will not be used at all agents of the association’s worldwide network.
IATA also expressed its concerns about the plan of implementing the BSP within Vietnam Airlines’ system, as the association assessed that the implementation time for the plan would be at least 18 months. The association stated clearly that if Vietnam Airlines did not have a detailed plan of implementation for BSP application the airline would not have the chance to join the project.
According to IATA statistics, as of April 2006, in Australia 77% of the total air tickets issued in the territory were e-tickets. In Germany the number was 65% while in France it was 64%. In other Asian countries like Thailand, Singapore and Hong Kong almost 60% of air tickets were being issued electronically.
Currently IATA is working to cut down the number of paper air tickets provided to its agents in different markets. The association has also increased the BSP joining fees for airlines which have not yet planned or are just now working on a plan to participate in the project.
Moreover, more than 10 international airlines have recently asked Vietnam Airlines to accept the usage of e-tickets in the interline payment system which allows airlines to sell air tickets on others’ flights. If Vietnam Airlines does not have an appropriate system its cooperation with other airlines will be affected and probably it will have to pay additional fees for the usage of paper tickets.
During an internal meeting with the management board of the airlines, General Director Nguyen Xuan Hien voiced the concern that Vietnam Airlines might face the risk of losing 50% of its revenues in international market if it did not apply urgent measures to implement the plan of putting e-ticket service into use.
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