Four out of five air tickets issued on the Sabre GDS are electronic, the company has said, although a deadline set by authorities is unlikely to be hit by next year.
Sabre said 122 airlines worldwide had joined the e-ticket revolution with South African Airways, PIA, Gulf Air, Air Malta, Cyprus Airways, Malev Hungarian Airlines, Air Europa, Portugalia and SpanAir recent converts.
But a date of 2007 posed by the International Air Transport Association for the complete withdrawal paper tickets would be not met, Nejib Ben-Khedher, president and managing partner of aviation consulting practice at Sabre Airline Solutions, admitted.
He added: “However, the figures we are releasing today show an unstoppable momentum, and indicate that carriers that sell most of the world’s airline tickets will be compliant by the due date.”
Sabre Travel Network’s European vice-president of supplier relations and joint ventures, Dean Bibb, said: “The travel agents I’ve spoken to are completely supportive of the full adoption of e-ticketing.
“Part of the reason we’ve broken through the 80 percent barrier is because our agency customers have seized on the e-ticketing capability of every new airline we’ve implemented.”