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China Southern launches English airline e-ticketing

China Southern Airlines is now offering domestic e-ticketing on its English web site. In addition,…

China Southern Airlines is now offering domestic e-ticketing on its English web site. In addition, China Southern Airlines has signed a new agreement with China Union Pay and VISA to provide its International credit card payment service to China Southern Airlines` e-ticket customers.

For more than two years, China Southern Airlines has been offering domestic e-ticket services to various destinations in China and is the first airline in China to offer Internet e-tickets.

China Southern launched its initial e-ticket services on February 1st, 1999 with domestic Internet reservations and door to door ticket service in major metropolitan markets throughout China.

After early test marketing, in March 2000, China Southern provides the first B to C mode e-tickets and only applied to the domestic flights originating from Beijing, Changsha, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Wuhan – and sold RMB 300,000 in tickets ($36,000 USD) during the remainder of that calendar year.

In March 2001, China Southern expanded its e-ticket system to the mid-range business customers (B2B) and by December 2002 had expanded this service to 18 cities with sales increasing to RMB 600 Million ($72 Million USD).

In its third year of e-ticket sales, the first B2C online multiple classes ticketing began and China Southern signed an initial agreement with China Union pay to introduce various bank credit cards e-ticket sales.

When China Southern first introduced e-ticketing, only China Merchant Bank cards could be used, explained Mr. Li Kun, Vice President, China Southern Airlines. He added that this single bankcard use limited our Internet development.

On March 28, 2003, China Southern announced a new strategic cooperation agreement with China Union Pay and the financial institutions that participate within China Union Pay program widened the payment choices for China Southern online customers.

Clearly, significant changes were developing within the banking industry, said Mr. Li.

In April 2003, the Agricultural Bank of China, China Construction Bank, China Merchants Bank, Bank of China, and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China became the first group of financial institutions in China to provide online payment services.

In September 2003, an additional 12 banks (China Minsheng Banking Corp., Bank of Communications, Guangdong Development Bank, Ltd., Shenzhen Development Bank, China Everbright Bank, Citic Industrial Bank, Shanghai Development Bank, Huaxia Bank, China Postal Savings, Guangzhou Rural Credit Cooperatives, Guangzhou Commercial Bank and the Fujian Industrial Bank) began to provide online payment services to China Southern Airlines customers.

Today you can easily pay for airline e-tickets by using any ATM debit or credit cards from nearly any Chinese-based financial institutions, added Mr. Li.

Through September 2003, China Southern E-ticket sales reached RMB 1.3 Billion ($157 Million USD) in sales.

China Southern Airlines is working diligently to connect our e-ticketing and departure systems and to offer various business travel service products to further strengthen our market leading position. The trends show that airline e-tickets in China will continue to develop in a very short period of time, added Mr. Li.

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Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales. She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.