Aeroflot Successfully Migrates to Comprehensive New Generation Reservation and Travel Agency Distribution Solution from Sabre

MOSCOW and SOUTHLAKE, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–March 23, 2005–Aeroflot Russian Airlines announced today the successful migration of the carrier and its affiliated travel agencies to a comprehensive booking and ticketing solution from Sabre Airline Solutions. The new technology is provided by SabreSonic, the industry’s first and only new generation reservations and passenger management solution, along with a customized version of the Sabre distribution system for Aeroflot affiliated travel agents. This new end-to-end distribution offering significantly advances the state of travel for the carrier and for Russia within the region and worldwide.

SabreSonic is state-of-the-art technology with a powerful client base – over 100 airlines worldwide which board more than 300 million passengers a year. SabreSonic customers include major international carriers such as American Airlines and US Airways and other carriers worldwide. In 2004, eight new carriers, including Aeroflot, chose this new technology for its customer-focused solution, flexibility and reliability – all made possible through the open systems approach.

“Aeroflot’s objective for the future is to continue making use of the most advanced and efficient technologies which exist in the industry,” said Eugene Bachurin, Aeroflot commercial director. “For this reason, we chose Sabre’s technology package. Sabre provides more flexibility in the areas of air travel reservation and sales and ticketing than any other offering currently available while at the same time ensuring maximum efficiency from both the travel agents and the airline sales offices. In addition, the new technology offers a variety of new functions which will benefit Aeroflot and travel agencies and will help to improve customer service.”

Today’s migration involved switching all current reservation records from Aeroflot’s current technology (provided by SITA) for its inventory system for airline tickets reservation and sales to SabreSonic. More than 300,000 passenger records were successfully switched in 31 minutes during the conversion; over 10,000+ records a minute. Additionally, Sabre provided new technology and services for passenger departure control at the Sheremetievo airport and a customized distribution system for Aeroflot appointed travel agents (My Sabre Aeroflot). Aeroflot has renewed approximately 500 travel agency agreements in Russia and abroad in the scope of activities of providing My Sabre Aeroflot customized distribution system to its affiliated agencies.

The training on the new distribution technology for Aeroflot personnel and the affiliated travel agencies was conducted in 16 training facilities including three centers in Moscow; nine regional training centers (Saint-Petersburg, Tumen, Samara, Ekaterinburg, Irkutsk, Khabarovsk, Omsk, Vladivostok, Rostov-on-Don) and four centers abroad (Hamburg, Rome, Los-Angeles and London). To date, over 3,000 people have been trained in the centers and classes and additional remote training has been provided with Cyrillic (Russian) support via CD-ROM and Internet.

The transition to the new reservation and ticketing system required modernization of the existing hardware and testing of the existing terminal connections, as well as installation of the new ones. More than 1,500 Sabre terminals have been installed in Aeroflot offices and about 5,500 in the Aeroflot affiliated agencies.

Noting the significance of the switch to the new technology package from Sabre, Gianni Marostica, president of Sabre Airline Solutions, said, “This cutover has huge implications for Aeroflot and its role as a major international airline as well as advancing customer-oriented travel services within Russia. The Sabre team recognized the importance of this accomplishment and dedicated itself to making it successful. We are pleased that our new generation solution was ready for Aeroflot to implement in the timeframe it required rather than depending on promises of future developments, and the successful cutover today does truly separate us from our competitors’ rhetoric in this regard. We congratulate Aeroflot’s Sabre team on a great achievement for the industry.”

Aeroflot customers will experience many benefits from the new technology from Sabre. They will be able to take advantage of the ability to directly book travel worldwide including airlines, car rental agencies, cruises, tour operators and rail outside of Russia – made possible through the customized distribution solution for travel agents. Agents also will be able to take advantage of automation of many tasks that had required manual input with the previous technology. Aeroflot’s airport and reservations agents also will be able to provide significantly improved customer service with better integrated information about a traveler’s itinerary, past trips on the airline and future reservations – in essence treating passengers as customers rather than transactions. As part of the technology package, Aeroflot also implemented software to improve Aeroflot Bonus, the carrier’s passenger reward program. Aeroflot also will be implementing the latest customer self-service technology which allows travelers to manage the way they shop for travel options and introduce new options for ticketing and check in.

For the airline, the new technology will significantly reduce Aeroflot’s distribution costs, streamline operations and play a key role in its plans for growth in the international market. Some examples include increased efficiency through automation, reduction of costs through reduced training and increased flexibility for the future with the open systems/service oriented architecture that provides the ability to easily add new functionality and capabilities and reduces time to market for the new functionality, as well as the ability to adapt to market needs through different types of operational models. In addition to the savings and revenue potential made possible through the reservations and distribution technology, Aeroflot also will achieve up to three percent additional revenue from the integration of Sabre’s revenue management technology that Aeroflot had previously installed. Revenue integrity software will provide fraud control, providing significant savings from lost revenue. Other software will help the Aeroflot plan and optimize its air loads, which help save fuel costs, increasingly important in current market conditions. Sabre also will be enabling technology solutions for Aeroflot’s participation in the SkyTeam alliance.

Travel agents will greatly benefit from the new customized distribution solution. MySabre Aeroflot is a distribution solution new to the Russian market, and will provide all the Aeroflot affiliated travel agencies unlimited access to the Sabre system’s resources with a new range of capabilities and services. In particular, it provides booking services for travel worldwide on all kinds of transport; it enables access to hotel properties, car companies, cruise lines, railroads and tour operators. This customized solution for the Aeroflot travel agents includes requirements of the local market and contains screens, prompts and instructions with Cyrillic support.

According to Sergey Kiryushin, Aeroflot Deputy Director General, IT department director, Sabre Airline Solutions is planning to also implement an Internet Booking Engine, which will provide the ability for travelers to directly book and ticket travel on Aeroflot’s website. “We are also working to get the airline ready for the transition to e-ticketing. The only outstanding issue in terms of this transition is the current legal restriction on e-tickets issuance in Russia. However, hopefully this issue will also be resolved to introduce this capability to the Russian marketplace.”

About Aeroflot Russian Airlines

JSC Aeroflot-Russian Airlines (PTC: AFLT) is the largest Russian airline and flag carrier. The State owns 51% of the company stock. It was founded in 1923. Aeroflot controls about 11% of the domestic and 39% of the International air travel market in Russia. The net revenue in 2003 made 3 978 million rubles ($1 = about 28 roubles).. Based on the financial characteristics Aeroflot was included in the list of 25 leading international carriers (according to ATW data). In 2004 Aeroflot flew 6,8 million passengers. The aircraft fleet contains 86 aircraft. Aeroflot is based in Moscow, in Sheremetievo airport. By 2007 the airline is planning to build Aeroflot own terminal – Sheremetievo-3. Further information can be found at Aeroflot Web sites,

About Sabre Airline Solutions

Sabre Airline Solutions, a Sabre Holdings company, is the world’s largest provider of software products; reservations, departure control systems and other passenger management systems; and consulting services that help airlines simplify operations and lower costs. Sabre Airline Solutions’ proven leadership is demonstrated by the growing number of airlines that leverage the technology and services: More than 200 airlines worldwide use Sabre Airline Solutions’ broad portfolio of smart solutions for decision-support tools to increase revenues and improve operations. More than 500 contracts worldwide were signed in 2004 for Sabre Airline Solutions’ leading technology solutions. More than 100 airlines worldwide rely on Sabre Airline Solutions for passenger management solutions, with eight new carriers choosing SabreSonic, the first new generation reservations system offered in the market, in 2004 and six carrier renewals. In addition, more than 100 clients worldwide have turned to the Sabre Airline Solutions consulting group for strategic, commercial and operational consulting.

Sabre Holdings Corporation (NYSE: TSG) is a world leader in travel commerce, retailing travel products and providing distribution and technology solutions for the travel industry. More information about Sabre Holdings is available at

Sabre Airline Solutions, the Sabre Airline Solutions logo, SabreSonic and MySabre are trademarks and/or service marks of an affiliate of Sabre Holdings Corporation. All other trademarks, service marks, and trade names are the property of their respective owners. (c) 2005 Sabre, Inc. All rights reserved.

    CONTACT: Sabre Airline Solutions
             Media Relations:
             Kathryn Hayden, 682-605-2252
             Media Relations:
             Aeroflot Russian Airlines, (095) 903 98 20

    SOURCE: Sabre Airline Solutions and Aeroflot Russian Airlines