China is the front-runner in the global race to convert from paper to e-tickets, according to a representative of the International Air Transport Association. Earlier this year, the association placed its final order for paper tickets — 16.5 million — to keep airlines supplied until the world goes paperless on June 1. After that date, paper tickets will no longer be available, except in very rare cases.

In 2005, only 10 percent of Chinese travelers used e-tickets, right; but in 2006, e-ticket usage jumped to 90 percent. China is now at 97.6 percent and is being closely trailed by Peru (97.4 percent), Ecuador (97.3 percent), Belize (97.1 percent) and the United States (97 percent). Nepal and Papua New Guinea are already at 100 percent.

Because of legislation that made it illegal for its carriers to offer e-tickets (it has since been updated), Russia, with 42 percent, is the tortoise in the race.