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The Star Alliance network launches global interline E-ticket

December 13, 2004 13:59

Star Alliance today announced the launch of its global interline e-ticket product. Following an extensive testing schedule, interline e-ticket is now being rolled out across the member carriers. Air Canada and Lufthansa was the first pair to launch in November. ANA and United are coming online this month, with Air Canada and Air New Zealand due in January. In addition to these launches, the following Star Alliance carriers already offer interline e-ticket.

– Scandinavian Airlines <->Lufthansa
– Scandinavian Airlines <-> Spanair
– Air Canada <->Lufthansa <->United
– Austrian <->Lufthansa
– United <->US Airways

All other e-ticket pairings will become live as part of the Star Allince global interline e-ticket roll out, which will be completed by the end of August 2005. At that point customers can travel across the entire Star Alliance Network using one single e-ticket.

From a technical standpoint, all the information contained on a paper ticket is stored in an electronic form in an airline’s e-ticket database. The crucial part is exchanging this e-ticket information with other airline systems, through an agreed message format. Using the Star Alliance infrastructure, StarNet, one single standard has been developed for exchanging e-ticket information between the individual member carrier’s systems. The advantage of this, versus individual bilateral links, is that new members or changes in the system can be integrated more easily and quickly.

With interline electronic ticketing, frequent fliers no longer have to worry about waiting for tickets to arrive by post, queuing to collect tickets at a counter, nor can tickets get lost. Furthermore traveling on e-tickets also speed up check-in and boarding.
For the member carriers, electronic ticketing allows them to lower distribution costs. According to IATA, ticketing costs for a paper ticket average between seven and nine US dollars, whereas an electronic ticket only averages two US dollars.

Star Alliance was established in 1997 as the first global airline alliance. The members are Air Canada, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Austrian, bmi, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Spanair, Thai Airways International, United, US Airways and VARIG Brazilian Airlines. The member carriers offer more than 14,000 daily flights, serving 772 destinations in 133 countries.


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