20. 05. 2008 - Czech Airlines Can Now Issue E-Tickets for 100% of Its Flights

Prague, May 20, 2008

Czech Airlines is now able to allow its ticketing agents to issue an e-ticket 100 percent of the time. By reaching this point, the company has been able to meet this requirement of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) ahead of its deadline. Starting in June, IATA will be requiring all sales agents to suspend the issuance of paper tickets and convert over exclusively to the use of e-tickets. 

The principal requirement for the conversion over to the e-ticket system is the completion of the interlining process – i.e. the joint recognition of electronic travel documents by the individual partner carriers. The conversion over to e-tickets has been one of the priorities of Czech Airlines. "As of May 15th, we completed our interlining with our fifty-third carrier, United Airlines, and we are now able to cover basically the entire air network serviced by Czech Airlines and its partners. We have been able to reach this capability two weeks ahead of the deadline set by the IATA," said Jiří Devát, Czech Airlines' Vice-President for Information Technologies. The last interline connection, which Czech Airlines plans to activate by the end of May 2008, is Yerevan. This destination will be connected as of May 26, 2008.

Last week, Czech Airlines completed its interlining with United Airlines and with China Southern, a new member of the SkyTeam Alliance. At the beginning of 2008, Czech Airlines already had the capability of issuing e-tickets for more than 90 percent of its ticketing transactions. The currently active interline connections represent 95 percent of the airline's income generated from ticket sales. The company currently sells 90 percent of its tickets in an e-ticket format, even though it is able to issue an e-ticket for 100 percent of its transactions. 

The share that e-tickets represent of total sales varies from one sales channel to another. The highest percentage of e-ticket usage comes from the sales using the airline's own online booking and ticketing system operated through the Czech Airlines' website. 98 percent of the tickets sold through this sales channel are in the form of e-tickets. Approximately 95 percent of the tickets sold through the airline's ticketing agents are e-tickets and when it comes to the tickets sold through Czech Airlines' own sales offices, such tickets account for over 78 percent of those issued. 

This month Czech Airlines will be entering a new phase in the area of electronic ticketing. The carrier will be launching a retesting of all of its 53 interline connections with other air carriers using linkages through the Meridian system – a system which Czech Airlines plans to convert over to by the end of the year. By the end of 2008, the company will start to use this new comprehensive airline IT system for the support of key sales activities - including ticket reservations, pricing and ticket issuance, passenger and luggage check-in and online sales. Up to now, Czech Airlines has been using 12 individual systems from eight different providers to perform these functions. 

Passengers can purchase an e-ticket not just over the internet but also through a 'brick and mortar' store, which is one of the reasons why the total number of e-tickets sold by the airline is substantially higher than the number of such tickets that are sold directly over the internet. 

Advantages of an E-Ticket
An e-ticket has a number of advantages for the passenger. The key advantage is the fact that an e-ticket cannot be lost. A passenger who has purchased an e-ticket can arrive at the airport without a physical travel document and they will still be able to check-in for their flight. Another advantage is the fact that Czech Airlines charges a lower service fee for the issuance of an
e-ticket (compared to a traditional paper ticket). Also, purchasing an e-ticket online is both very simple and very quick. One of the many advantages of this method of purchasing a ticket is the fact that the ticket can be purchased at any time of the day or night and the passenger doesn't have to be worried about the opening hours of an airline's ticket office or the availability of a ticketing agent. With an e-ticket, the passenger is also able to easily check-in using the internet as early as 24-hours before departure. In the future, Czech Airlines also plans to offer the option of checking in for a flight through the use of the SMS technology. For the airline, the conversion over to the e-ticketing system is expected to result in a reduction in reservation and sales related costs. IATA has indicated possible savings in the range of several USD per ticket.

Additional information on the electronic services of Czech Airlines and detailed instructions on their use can be found on the airline's website: www.czechairlines.com under Online Services.

Daniela Hupáková
Communications Director
Czech Airlines Press Spokesperson