Geneva- The International Air Transport Association (IATA), today announced the full implementation of IATA’s Billing and Settlement Plan (BSP) in Russia with strategic partners Russian VTB Bank and Aeroflot.

IATA’s Billing and Settlement Plan (BSP) provides a single standard interface for invoicing and payment between 60,000 IATA Accredited Passenger Sales Agents and airlines in 160 countries. In 2007 IATA’s BSP processed 458 million transactions and US$ 220 billion worldwide.

“The implementation of the BSP in Russia is an important step forward,” said Giovanni Bisignani, Director General and CEO of IATA. “IATA’s BSP links Russian aviation to a massive global network, brings tremendous efficiencies to airlines and travel agents and improves service to passengers.”

Some 37 airlines and over 400 travel agency locations across Russia now benefit from fully automated ticketing and reporting procedures based on international standards and best practices, including state-of-the-art internet portal BSPlink and electronic ticketing (ET). The industry has set a deadline of 31 May 2008 for 100% ET to improve passenger convenience and save the industry US $3 billion annually. BSP Russia is well advanced at 94% ET.

Russia’s largest financial institution VTB Bank is the official clearing bank for BSP Russia and will serve as the data processing centre via Multicarta ISS.

“Participation of the largest Russian banking group VTB in the implementation of BSP in Russia will ensure increased effectiveness and efficiency of the settlement process and, therefore will facilitate further integration of Russian airlines into the global air transport industry,“ said Andrei Kostin, VTB Bank Chairman and CEO.

Aeroflot played a critical role during the BSP implementation, working closely with the Russian aviation authorities and other airlines.

“Aeroflot has long since recognised the benefits of IATA’s BSP. We are currently participating in the programme in more than 50 countries,” said Valery Okulov, CEO, Aeroflot. “Clearly Russia is our most important market and the BSP Russia is an excellent tool to expand our distribution and support our full transition to electronic ticketing. We are already 100% ET in BSP Russia.”

IATA is the global association for the world’s international airlines. Established in 1945, IATA represents some 240 airlines comprising 94% of scheduled international traffic. IATA has 6 member airlines in Russia including Aeroflot, Rossiya, S7-Siberia, Transaero, Vladivostok Air and Volga-Dnepr. Aeroflot is the oldest IATA member among Russian carriers, having been a member since 1989. Valery Okulov is a member of IATA’s Board of Governors.

IATA’s involvement in Russia also includes the industry’s top priority safety. IATA’s Partnership for Safety programme helped Russian airlines prepare for IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA). IOSA is the first global standard for airline operational safety auditing. It assesses airline operational management and control systems. Russia was accident free during 2007.
“IATA’s goal is to work with its members, industry and government to deliver safe and efficient air travel worldwide,” said Bisignani. “Our Partnership for Safety programme, IOSA and BSP play vital roles in delivering this in Russia and around the world.”

Notes for editors:

  • There are 81 BSPs in operation covering more than 160 countries and territories.
  • BSPlink is an innovative, internet-based system, which facilitates interactions and exchanges of information between all BSP participants.