Most of us have got used to the convenience of e-tickets for air travel. It surprised me to know that India was actually a late entrant to the world of e-tickets.

Under pressure from the global trade body, International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) to move to e-tickets by March 31, 2008, the industry has quickly moved from a low 65% compliance earlier this year to a high of 82.5% as of last month.

IATA is an international trade body, created some 60 years ago by a group of airlines. Today, IATA represents over 240 airlines comprising 94% of the international scheduled air traffic. The organisation also represents, leads and serves the airline industry in general.

A paper ticket costs $7-8 for an international transaction and $3-4 for a domestic transaction. Implementing 100% e-ticketing will help the aviation industry globally in saving $3 billion annually.