UIA making confident strides into the era of e-tickets


May 31, 2008 will see licensed travel agencies worldwide, which use to administer ticket sales through Billing Settlement Plan (BSP) under the auspices of International Air Transport Association (IATA), issue paper tickets for the last time. From June 1st through June 16th IATA is to withdraw 32 million paper tickets from 53000 international agencies. This will usher in a new era of e-ticketing for the world aviation.

Today e-tickets provide the most popular and convenient way of purchasing tickets for passengers. In April 2008 the global average ticket sales via BSP accounted for 95.4%, IATA reports. Currently, UIA’s sales through BSP account for 95.2% putting the company on par with major international airlines.

It took UIA two years to get all of its respective departments ready for the introduction of e-ticketing. It also involved a lot of work with a number of partner organizations such as airports, airlines, agencies, ticket booking systems, etc. The Especially substantial load has fallen on shoulders of management of UIA’s information technologies department.

Summer 2005 saw a full-scale deployment of check-in systems at UIA destination airports. As of September 2007, e-tickets have been available for all UIA-operated flights.

UIA was the first airline in the CIS to have signed an interline agreement with Continental Airlines as early as October 2005. Today UIA has similar interline agreements with 32 international airlines. By the end of 2008 their number is projected to reach 50. It means that UIA passengers will be able to book a single e-ticket for difficult itineraries that require connection to different airlines without the need to use printed tickets for separate parts of an itinerary.

E-tickets sales were launched via UIA’s website www.flyUIA.com in January 2008. Now UIA passengers can make all their flight arrangements such as booking an itinerary, paying for a flight and booking an e-ticket without having to leave their apartments or offices.

As part of IATA assistance programme UIA experts consulted Air Astana in introducing e-tickets. The company also provided a number of consultations for AIR ASTANA (Kazakhstan), GEORGIAN AIRWAYS (Georgia), DNEPRAVIA (Ukraine), BELAVIA (Byelorussia), VIETNAM AIRLINES (Vietnam), ROSSIYA RUSSIAN AIRLINES (Russia, Saint Petersburg).

“Thanks to the highest qualification of our IT management department, combined and professional efforts of all departments, UIA is now a leader in e-ticketing introduction not only in Ukraine but also in the CIS. With e-ticket sales accounting for 81% of all ticket sales, UIA is ready to embrace the era of e-tickets due to commence on June 1,” said Vladimir Tepikin, UIA’s IT Director.