By Abdel Razek El-Shuwekhi
Credit card usage accounts for 8-9% of EgyptAir flight bookings, and the proportion is growing, with a target of 35% over the next four years, according to Ghada Al-Khatib, the company’s director of E-Commerce.
The company has a website and mobile apps through which bookings can be made, representing a new method for the company to make it easier for the customer to carry out transactions. EgyptAir is in the process of expanding and hopes to bring in more customers in the future, according to Khatib.
She stressed that the website has an effective security systemthat prevents fraud.
EgyptAir entered into a contract with Fawri Banking and Payment Technology Services to obtain the value of the ticket when the traveler books through the company’s website.
Travelers that book through the website obtain the ticket at a price EGP 100-150 cheaper than the ticket office prices. Khatib added that the traveler also has the added advantage of making a reservation at any time.
EgyptAir uses an electronic payment system with MasterCard and Visa, and is currently working on implementing the “Aldept Card” system in European countries and through other cards, which raises turnout for travel on routes to and from Egypt, said Khatib.
Tareq Taha, Manager of the Mexicana Hotel in Sharm El Sheikh, said that electronic bookings are growing in Egyptian and European markets, especially in the past three years. He added that electronic reservations accounted for around 72% of total tourism to Egypt.
More specifically, online bookings and credit card use account for approximately 40% of tourism in Sharm El-Sheikh and Hurghada, said Taha.
He added that guests who book with a credit card benefit from lower prices, as well as discounts on entry to nightclubs. Some hotels even grant guests an extra night or include tours and safaris to their vacation packages to attract customers to reserve online or with a credit card.
The Ministry of Tourism signed a co-operation protocol with Visa Egypt this month to market Egypt on the credit card company’s website.
“We hope to attract an increase of 2 to 4% through e-marketing for Egypt,” the Tourism Minister said in a statement to Daily News Egypt.
E-bookings on the company’s website account for 5 to 10% of all passenger traffic on Nesma Airlines flights according to Osama Khairy, director of bookings for Nesma Airlines.
Khairy attributed the low numbers to “a lack of culture and education among some passengers”, as well as fear of fraud.
Although credit card use for flight bookings hasn’t exceeded 10%, Khairy said that, “the rate continues to increase in comparison to previous years.”