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Friday, June 25, 2004

Airlines call for end to paper tickets via News.com

An association of world airlines agreed recently to cost-cutting measures such as full electronic ticketing by 2007, as part of a bid to save up to $3 billion a year. The move comes as the industry is faced with soaring fuel prices and mounting competition. Airlines have racked up more than $30 billion in losses in the past three years because of the effects of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the United States, the deadly Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS, and the Iraq war.With global passenger traffic in the January-to-March quarter about 6.5 percent above the levels of 2001, the industry was expected to post combined profits of $3 billion in 2004. But it now faces another year in the red because of soaring oil prices.Aside from eliminating paper tickets,the airlines agreed to work on an industry standard for check-in terminals worldwide. The airlines also plan to replace magnetic stripes with bar codes on boarding passes so they can be printed by passengers at home to cut costs and check-in times. The industry also agreed to use RFID (radio frequency identification) technology to replace bar-coded baggage tags.Another case of technology coming to the rescue of business , more so in highly competitive sector like airlines industry.

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