The global airlines body IATA said on Monday it had placed its last order for paper tickets, clearing the way for air travel to be based entirely on electronic ticketing from June 1 next year.

"In just 278 more days, the paper ticket will become a collector's item," said Giovanni Bisignani, director general of the International Air Transport Association.

The changeover from paper would not only cut airlines' costs by $9 for every traveller but would also mean the industry - criticised by environmentalists for its part in global warming - would save 50,000 mature trees a year, he added.

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