Airlines across the world will completely abandon paper ticket by the middle of next year, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has announced.

The organisation, which represents the interests of 240 airlines, said that e-tickets would completely replace paper versions by June 2008.

It is estimated that the switch will save passengers around £5 per flight.

The IATA started its drive to get rid of paper tickets three years ago and revealed that eight out of ten passengers already use electronic versions when flying.

"This is 'last call' for paper tickets," said Giovanni Bisignani, the IATA's director general. "We are changing an industry with tangible benefits for travellers, agents, airlines and the environment.

"Consumers enjoy the convenience and flexibility of paperless travel. Agents have the opportunity to broaden the scope of their business and serve their customers remotely."

"Eliminating paper will save the equivalent of 50,000 mature trees each year. E-ticketing is a winning proposition for everyone."

Many airlines outside the IATA, such as Ryanair and easyJet, already offer paperless ticketing systems for their passengers.

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Tony Hill Helen Gillilan

Published By:
The News Team
(Tony Hill and Helen Gillilan)

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