Sabre expands air and hotel content
July 20, 2007：Sabre has been adding hotel content at a rate averaging 500 properties per month, with a current total of nearly 80,000 properties, and with content growth rapidly accelerating, Sabre will surpass 100,000 properties in 2008.
As part of its ongoing evolution of the global distribution system (GDS), Sabre Travel Network today announced a set of next-generation air shopping and booking capabilities. This builds on its commitment to provide the most comprehensive travel content in the industry, which is the foundation for Sabre’s end-to-end solutions for the corporate and leisure travel segments.
These new capabilities include:
- XML connectivity that enables reservations capabilities and enhanced services, such as interactive seat maps, frequent flyer numbers and pre-reserved seats for carriers whose reservations systems don’t fully support traditional communication protocols used for GDS connectivity. This provides improved capabilities for Sabre-participating carriers and a platform to enable distribution of carriers that haven’t previously participated in GDS systems.
- Next-generation availability that enables the Sabre system to house a real-time representation of an airline’s true inventory, which reduces response time and provides more accurate last-seat availability, ultimately providing more accurate available fare information when agents search across a large number of itinerary options. This creates a better shopping experience for agents and travelers that can result in increased sales for airlines using the new solution.
- Enhanced fare quote and availability that incorporates an airline’s branded fares into Sabre displays, allowing airlines to merchandize through the GDS the attributes of their products in a manner consistent with their marketing strategy. On MySabre, agents can quickly review those attributes on the interactive display, and with one click, they can view summaries used to easily compare attributes across a carrier’s different fares.
AirTran Airways is Sabre’s beta test and launch partner for XML connectivity, scheduled to take place in the next few weeks. The airline – for the first time – has the ability to provide enhanced services through the GDS, giving Sabre’s vast network of corporate and leisure customers a distinct advantage.
“Sabre’s new XML connectivity is a big win for AirTran Airways because we’re highly focused on our ability to leverage a variety of distribution channels and capitalize on our investments in XML – just two of the things that our partnership with Sabre helps us accomplish,” said Kevin Healy, vice president of Planning, AirTran Airways. “Together, we’ve provided travel agents the ability to sell AirTran Airway’s unique products, view our seat maps and communicate frequent traveler information, all through the efficiency of the Sabre GDS.”
Sabre is working with various launch partners on its next-generation availability and branded fares solutions, and will announce more details in the coming weeks.
“In 2006, all of the industry hype was around securing long-term, full-content agreements with the major U.S. airlines,” said Greg Webb, chief marketing officer of Sabre Travel Network and Sabre Airline Solutions. “Since then, we turned our attention globally and secured more than 380 new full content agreements with airlines around the world, but we still recognize there are a limited number of airlines whose internal reservation systems don’t support the traditional communications protocols for the advanced capabilities our customers have come to expect from the GDS. XML connectivity helps us address this issue, and it provides a platform that allows us to approach low-cost carriers worldwide with reservations systems.”
Additionally, for those rare occasions when content is not available in the GDS, Sabre introduced NetCheck earlier this year. And although these carriers may account for less than 1 percent of an agency’s sales, Sabre customers appreciate the improved efficiencies in all cases.
“Last year we announced our commitment to provide the best end-to-end corporate and leisure solutions, with content leadership as the foundation,” said Webb. “And while today’s announcement is about next-generation air capabilities, this commitment extends to content leadership in all segments of the travel industry.”
For example, Sabre has been adding hotel content at a rate averaging 500 properties per month, with a current total of nearly 80,000 properties, and with content growth rapidly accelerating, Sabre will surpass 100,000 properties in 2008. This, combined with new full-content agreements with major hoteliers and the recently announced Rate Assured hotel program, ensures Sabre agents receive the most hotel content at the best rates. Also, Sabre’s rail consolidator platform will make rail access more streamlined than ever – not only in Europe, but also around the world – with availability through the GDS and the GetThere corporate booking tool.