Online sales airline tickets almost double

American airlines do sail with their online ticket sales. The total sales value this year will be 8.7 billion dollars, 85 percent more than last year, when 4.7 billion was sold. In the Netherlands, KLM also reports an increase, but it is lower than among colleagues in the US. KLM does not publish how much is sold online

American airlines do sail with their online ticket sales. The total sales value this year will be 8.7 billion dollars, 85 percent more than last year, when 4.7 billion was sold. In the Netherlands, KLM also reports an increase, but it is lower than among colleagues in the US.

KLM does not publish how much is sold online. A spokesperson for the airline, however, says it can not achieve the growth of 85 percent, which American colleagues average. KLM is satisfied with the sale.

The American figures come from PhoCusWright, a research agency in the travel industry. According to this agency, Europe is busy catching up on the US. This year Europe will achieve a turnover of 1.1 billion dollars in the online travel industry. This will be 9 billion dollars in three years. Half then comes from online travel agencies, the other half from tour operators and airlines.

The American companies get the most revenue themselves: This year 58 percent of the tickets purchased online will be bought from the companies themselves, an increase of five percent. This way they run better than online travel agencies like Expedia.com, Travelocity.com and GetThere.com. They focus more and more on the sale of hotel beds and cruises.

In the US, more than three-quarters of the tickets are still sold through the traditional travel agency. SouthWest is the best online seller: they sell 25 percent of the tickets through their site. For United Airlines, this is 7.5 percent. This gave SouthWest 877 million dollars, or 19 percent of the market. Delta Airlines and United follow with respectively 671 million and 505 million dollars.