Aer Lingus to sell e-tickets

12 Aug 2003

Customers of Aer Lingus will be able to buy electronic tickets from the middle of this month, has learned. By the end of the year it is estimated that 30pc of the airline’s tickets will be electronic.

The carrier is understood to have acquired an e-ticketing system from Amadeus, one of the largest application service providers (ASP) to the airline industry, which it is in the process of integrating with its own reservations and departure control systems for full management and distribution of e-tickets.

Travel agents in Ireland will be able to start issuing e-tickets from the middle of this month and to the rest of the world by the end of the year.

Aer Lingus has implemented Amadeus Electronic Ticket Server (ETS), a neutral IT application and database, with links to global distribution systems for travel agency distribution; to user airlines’ own sales and reservation offices for direct sales; and to airline alliance partners for interlining purposes – that is, integration between various airlines’ ticketing systems.

“Electronic ticketing means a faster, more convenient ticketing and check-in process for our customers,” said Enda Corneille, head of sales for Europe at Aer Lingus. “It is also a cost-effective and quick way to issue Aer Lingus tickets, which will save both the airline and travel agents significant time and money. E-tickets cannot be lost or stolen and changes or refunds are faster and easier than with paper tickets.”

In future Aer Lingus passengers will be able to use the same e-ticket for their whole trip even when part of their journey involves a flight on another airline. Aer Lingus will be able to offer this option through ETS’ interlining capacity, which enables the seamless exchange of e-ticket coupons between a user airline and appointed partner airlines.

Aer Lingus’ oneworld alliance partners, British Airways, Qantas, Finnair and Lanchile already use ETS for their e-ticketing needs. “This will simplify future e-ticketing integration for us as we will have the option to interline e-tickets with most of our alliance partners easily, without the need to build additional communication links,” added Corneille.

“ETS creates major cost savings for airlines in data capture, accuracy and quicker interline settlement,” said Hans Jorgensen, vice-president for Amadeus’ Airline Business Group. “More importantly, airlines have full interlining capability at their fingertips, without the costly development they would need to undertake with an in-house system. Simply put, Amadeus is less costly and improves Aer Lingus’ speed to market and to achieve cost savings. ETS eliminates the need for Aer Lingus to build and maintain its own e-ticketing system.”

Aer Lingus aims to fully support e-ticketing in its key markets by the end of the year. Through ETS, Galileo travel agents in Ireland will start issuing e-tickets for travel on Aer Lingus in mid-August, after which the service will be extended to the UK. Rollout in the US and rest of western Europe will follow by the end of the year when an approximately 30pc of tickets issued by the airline will be electronic.

By John Kennedy