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Report Compiled By: Georgia Atieno
Experience Kenya News Team
Wednesday, 14th October 2008

Kenya Airways (KQ) has received an award for its efforts towards becoming e- compliance in issuance of tickets. International Air Transport Association (IATA), the global airline Industry regulator gave KQ a “Last Paper Award” for its steps towards the association’s goals of 100 percent utilization of e-tickets.

KQ’s Information Technology (IT) Director Kevin Kinyanjui was hopeful that by the end of the year the Airline would have achieved 100 percent e- compliance. Currently, the carrier is 10 percentage points short of fully issuing only e-tickets.

The industry was considered 100 per cent ET end of May 2008, when travel agents stopped issuing IATA neutral paper tickets. The four year ET project has been the flagship of simplifying the Business (StB) program which started in June 2004. The programme has eliminated about 300 million paper tickets in the industry, making a saving of approximately $3 billion (Kshs219 billion) annually to member airlines and benefits of convenience to passengers, agents and airlines.

KQ is slightly over 90 per cent ET-compliant with the balance being paper tickets issued in non-BSP markets and the few remaining airlines that KQ need to e-interline with,” said Mr. Kinanjui.

“Both issues are being addressed and solutions have been identified,” he added. Kenya Airways embraced the e –ticketing initiative and issued the first E-ticket in January 2005. Currently, the airline has 43 e-eligible destinations, 66 e-interline partners, 30 e-infant partners and e-Interline agreements with 8 Global Distribution Systems (GDS).

Under the e-ticket Buddy program, IATA mandated KQ to mentor other African Carriers in the region.  “Under this program KQ supported Airlines like Air Botswana (BP), Air Mozambique (TM), Precision Air (PW), Air Zimbabwe (UM), TAAG Angola (DT), Rwandair Express (WB), Inter Air (D6) and Belleview (B3),” said Mr Kinyanjui.

There are over 60,000 IATA travel agents issuing e-tickets for 300 airlines in 200 countries.  E-ticketing started in 1994 by US airlines who encountered a myriad of challenges in issuing e-tickets for itineraries involving multiple carriers due to lack of  connectivity between different airline systems. In 1997, IATA developed a solution for these connectivity issues and came up with a global standard for e-tickets.

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