Sabre Airline Solutions’ Carrier Community Addresses Industry’s Top IT Needs

Over 40 Airlines from North America, Latin America and the Caribbean Gather For SabreSonic Customer Community Forum

SOUTHLAKE, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Sept. 1, 2004– Sabre Airline Solutions, the industry leader in airline operations technology, announced another successful round of discussions at its annual SabreSonic Customer Community Regional Forum for the Americas. More than 45 representatives from airlines in North America, South America and the Caribbean attended the annual conference to discuss and prioritize IT solutions to enhance their passenger management for 2005.

The SabreSonic Customer Community includes representatives from more than 100 airlines from 23 countries around the world. The community has been active for more than 25 years, with annual regional meetings held in European and Asia-Pacific locations as well as the Americas in order to be closer to the customers. The objective of these sessions is to help define product strategy for reservations, inventory, departure control and Internet booking engine systems. During the past three decades, these gatherings have formalized into a well-defined community governance structure and process, ensuring that both the global and regional priorities of airlines are reflected in product plans and development.

“It is important for Air Jamaica to have some influence over the direction, technology choices and application enhancements,” said Keith Smith, vice president of IT Services for Air Jamaica. “We do this in a few ways, all of which we have found beneficial to us, such as regular involvement in the quarterly Net conferences, attendance and participation in the regional planning workshops, and participation in the global advisory board. This level of participation helps to improve our perception of the organization and its ability to both meet our long-term needs and resolve our immediate concerns when they occur.”

Karen Broghammer, manager of CRC and Sabre Development at Alaska Airlines, also noted the benefits of participating in a community model. “Sabre Airline Solutions’ community model provides a forum for carriers to exchange ideas and feedback throughout the year. The forum provides Alaska Airlines with the ability to influence product direction to meet the needs of our changing industry.”

The guiding principles of the SabreSonic Customer Community governance program place the emphasis on product development and enhancement based on both global and regional input. This community feedback ensures that Sabre Airline Solutions integrates:

    --  The combined global feedback and knowledge of the carriers in
        the SabreSonic community

    --  The ability to leverage a shared systems environment that
        prioritizes the needs of the member airlines

    --  Meeting specific regional needs by incorporating priorities
        voted on and determined at the regional level

“The community governance model is a democratic platform for the exchange of ideas throughout the year,” said Sanjay Sathe, director, Product Governance and Marketing Strategy, Sabre Airline Solutions. “Airlines communicate about their needs with each other — and with Sabre Airline Solutions — before, during and after the event. It’s really an exciting process to see the airlines collaborate to govern the technology spend. We even see several airlines join forces to strengthen their vote. Collectively, smaller airlines can have a well-represented voice along with the larger airlines.”

An example of one of the features added that was generated from the SabreSonic Customer Community is Dynamic Availability. This feature provides an Internet browser-based graphical user interface (GUI) that can specify the content and order of flight schedule displays for the hosted carrier within its SabreSonic partition. A SabreSonic hosted carrier may determine the display and ordering of its flights in a city pair availability. Options also allow a carrier to re-sequence flights to give preference to alliance partners, and even suppress service of carriers whose flights they do not wish to sell or view. The carriers may also choose to re-sequence their own service for special promotions. All updates are immediate and are reflected in that carrier’s partition only.

Another example is the expansion of available fare classes to 26 classes. The capability to display 26 resident classes is particularly beneficial for carriers that have global alliances and provides airlines with greater flexibility while managing their yield in both general and direct access availability.

Throughout the year, airlines come together at various events to help provide recommendations about product decisions and discuss ways to better utilize the products. Four primary forums facilitate collaboration among members of the user community:

    --  Advisory Board -- A leadership meeting to discuss and review
        strategic product direction and set regional priorities.
        During the annual gathering, the 12 airline members,
        representing all regions, discuss product and service

    --  Customer conferences -- A forum for airlines and the Sabre
        Airline Passenger Solutions team to discuss product plans and
        industry needs, gather input from airlines about their product
        and service needs, conduct roundtable discussions about
        industry trends, hold interactive product demonstrations, and
        interact with representatives from other airlines.

    --  Reservations review Net conference -- Online conferences
        conducted four times a year to keep members of the community
        updated about quarterly enhancements.

    --  Product working groups -- Community meetings designed to
        discuss existing and proposed functionality in detail, share
        and identify requirements for new and enhanced functionality,
        review designs for upcoming enhancements or new development,
        and conduct product demonstrations.

Members of the SabreSonic Customer Community also have access to the customer support Web site, which provides 24-hour access and includes:

    --  Product information

    --  Product plans

    --  Overviews of upcoming enhancements

    --  Enhancement rollout schedule

    --  Documentation

    --  Information about upcoming and past events and supporting

    --  Training information and curricula

    --  Help desk

    --  Electronic submission and review of service requests

    --  Resolutions guide

    --  Frequently asked questions

“The SabreSonic Customer Community is truly a two-way street between supplier and customer,” Sathe added. “This interaction is leveraged with the flexibility of the SabreSonic suite, to provide the most customer-focused solutions in the industry — and that means solutions that benefit the entire airline community.”

The SabreSonic Customer Community forum for the Americas was held August 16-17 at the Westin Stonebriar in Frisco, Texas. The Europe, Middle East and Africa forum was held in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and the Asia-Pacific forum will take place in Sydney, Australia.

About Sabre Airline Solutions

Sabre Airline Solutions, a Sabre Holdings company, is the world’s largest provider of software products, reservations and 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 100 airlines worldwide rely on Sabre Airline Solutions for passenger management solutions, with 15 new carriers added and nine carrier renewals for SabreSonic Res advanced reservations in 2003. In the first half of 2004, six new carriers signed up the new generation passenger solution, and another three carriers renewed contracts. In addition, more than 100 clients worldwide have turned to Sabre Airline Solutions consulting group for strategic, commercial and operational consulting. More than 500 contracts worldwide were signed in 2003 within Sabre Airline Solutions and nearly 400 have been signed in the first half of 2004.

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 and SabreSonic 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.

    CONTACT: Sabre Airline Solutions, Southlake
             Kathryn Hayden, 682-605-2252

    SOURCE: Sabre Airline Solutions