Mobiles will account for over 1.5 billion airline boarding passes by 2019: Report

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Over 1.5 billion airline boarding passes will be delivered via mobile phones or tablets by the end of 2019, new research claims.

According to a report from analyst Juniper Research, mobile boarding passes will represent one in three of the total airline passes by 2019 end. Approximately 745 million boarding passes are estimated to be delivered on mobile devices this year.

The research titled ‘Mobile & Online Ticketing: Transport, Events & NFC 2015-2019? notes that the growth in number of mobile boarding passes will be driven by frequent flyers, who are more likely to use the technology than leisure passengers who might not be familiar with the technology.

According to airline IT specialist SITA, around 53 per cent of world’s airlines have already implemented mobile boarding passes via smartphone apps. This number, SITA believes, will rise to 91 per cent by 2017.

The study found that app-based boarding pass adoption is happening rapidly in markets such as the US, Far East and Europe.

Rapid adoption of mobile barcode boarding pass hints that transition to the Near Field Communication wireless technology is not happening soon.

“The ultimate position that NFC can reach in the airline industry is the extinction of the boarding pass, whereby boarding pass, baggage tickets and identity information can be stored on the phone and simply accessed using NFC readers,” noted Juniper researcher Nitin Bhas.

“However, this transition will not only be delayed by the success of barcode, but also the need to gain agreement and investment from airlines and airports around the world.”