Online ticket purchases for airlines in Egypt amounts to $1.9bn, out of $11bn in the Arab region, according to PAYFORT’s latest State of Payments 2015 in the Arab World report.
Egyptian travellers are using different airlines, not just EgyptAir, said Hossam Darwish, assistant secretary-general of training, electronic tourism and electronic marketing at the Arab Tourism Organisation (ATO), affiliated to the Arab League. According to Darwish, even tourism companies are using airlines’ online platforms.
“The world is moving into the online platforms, so online ticket purchasing is now normal, because it saves time and effort as well as reduces car fuel costs and pollution emissions,” Darwish said.
Darwish argues attention must be given to the transformation from traditional tour operating to the digital one. He stressed the significance of giving training courses to stakeholders to get them prepared for the transformation.
The highest amount was registered by the UAE, marking $4.7bn, followed by $2.2bn recorded by Saudi Arabia. Kuwait and Lebanon registered $400m each, whilst Jordan registered $300m.
The online ticket purchase market is expected to further grow by 2020, to register $16.2bn in total, Egypt will generate $2.8bn of this.
With regard to seasonality, the report stated that the hot summer months are a high season for the airline industry, adding that transactions and volumes peak in June.
As for social media channels that airlines focus on for online sales and consumer engagement, the report, that polled 11 airlines, said Facebook topped the list with 39% of reliance, Twitter is 28% and Instagram is 11%.
“PAYFORT found that the airlines industry has a sterling acceptance ratio of 82%.Though the dataset does not include booking from third-party sites, the trend is clear: airlines will emerge as a major source of ecommerce revenue as the Arab World becomes more and more of a travel hub,” the report said.
PAYFORT said that four of the 11 surveyed airlines reported that 90% of their booking airline ticket sales come through mobile channels.
Regarding the travel and tourism sectors in ecommerce, PAYFORT said it registered $3.6bn in 2014, where Egypt recorded $870m. The UAE recorded $1.14bn and Saudi Arabia $920m. Market size in 2020 is expected to surpass $5bn, the report forecasted.
“The vast majority of transactions occur in the months from August to December, however, there is also a short surge in bookings in the month before Ramadan as people set their plans to travel to cooler climates,” the report showed.
PAYFORT, describing itself the Arab world’s leading online payment gateway and payment solutions provider, has announced the State of Payments 2015 in the Arab world. These include predictions on the state of e-commerce in 2020, at the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) convention in Dubai, launched on 4 May.