Sabre Airline Solutions Consultants Drive Significant Profit Improvements at Gulf Air; Sabre Airline Solutions’ Consulting Unit Continues Global Growth

SOUTHLAKE, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–June 5, 2006–Business consultants from Sabre Airline Solutions have helped Gulf Air realize financial benefits of more than US$30 million over an 18-month period. The ‘no gain, no fee’ consulting engagement, agreed in the third quarter of 2004, involved changes in five areas of the airline’s operation. The consultants used Sabre Airline Solutions products to help the airline market its schedule, sell tickets, serve its customers and operate more efficiently.

Payment for the project was dependent on Sabre Airline Solutions’ consultants helping to achieve measurable improvements based on pre-determined criteria in Gulf Air’s pricing and revenue management, sales, distribution and e-ticketing implementation.

“These results demonstrate the breadth and effectiveness of our consultancy services and our decision-support technology for airlines,” said Nejib Ben-Khedher, president and managing partner of the aviation consulting practice at Sabre Airline Solutions. “They prove conclusively that Sabre can be a true partner that will deliver tangible results for airlines.”

“We are delighted with the results of our ‘no gain, no fee’ partnership with Sabre Airline Solutions,” said James Hogan, president and chief executive of Gulf Air. “It has been able to deliver real value in several key areas of our operation.”

Hogan said a significant feature of Sabre Airline Solutions’ consulting was its tactical nature.

“Most consultants provide remote strategic input, where success or failure is mostly intangible. Sabre Airline Solutions, however, was prepared to put its money where its mouth is, dive into the heart of our business and get its hands dirty. The results speak for themselves. Sabre Airline Solutions’ consultants also helped us develop our strategic business plan. This was a challenging task given the changes we were facing. Their practical approach, coupled with our experienced team, helped us develop the way forward for the next decade.”

Typical of the project was Sabre Airline Solutions’ review of Gulf Air’s pricing and revenue management, which involved four stages. The improvement target was to raise revenue per available seat kilometre.

The consultants realigned the airline’s fare class structure, ensured the competitiveness of Gulf Air’s fares by using Sabre data sources, made the airline’s overbooking and seat allocation process more efficient and trained Gulf Air staff to continue managing the process.

In other areas of the project the consultants implemented key performance indicators for travel agencies and sales staff, introduced e-ticketing and enhanced the airline’s distribution policy and scheduling procedures.

Sabre Airline Solutions’ tactical hands-on business consultancy is unique among airline technology providers. The business has tripled its consulting revenue over the past three years, with international clients contributing significantly to this growth. More than 75 percent of the consulting business’ 2005 revenue was generated outside North America.

“Sabre Airline Solutions’ consulting unit was actively engaged with nearly 100 airlines and airports in 2005, half of which were new clients outside North America. This demonstrates our expanded global footprint,” said Ben-Khedher.

About Sabre Airline Solutions

Sabre Airline Solutions, a Sabre Holdings company, is the world’s largest provider of products and services to help airlines market, sell, serve and operate from planning to execution.

More than 200 airlines use its broad portfolio of decision-support tools to increase revenues and improve operations, while more than 500 use its leading operational technology. More than 100 airlines rely on Sabre Airline Solutions for passenger management solutions, while a similar number have turned to the company’s consulting group for strategic, commercial and operational advice.

Sabre Holdings (NYSE:TSG) connects people with the world’s greatest travel possibilities by retailing travel products and providing distribution and technology solutions for the travel industry. More information about Sabre Holdings is available at

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

About Gulf Air

Founded in 1950, Gulf Air, owned by the Kingdom of Bahrain and the Sultanate of Oman, is the only truly Pan Gulf carrier in the Middle East region.

The regional, geographic and cultural values the airline has embraced over more than half a century are still central to defining its brand and service ethos.

Today the airline’s network stretches from Europe to Asia and covers 50 cities in 30 countries. The fleet comprises 34 aircraft and has the distinct advantage of possessing the strongest network across the Middle East.

A platform for sustained commercial operation has been established over the past three years as part of a multi-phased turnaround programme. It has also provided a framework for a succession of innovative products and services including the unique Sky Chefs and Sky Nannies that form part of Gulf Air’s ‘smart airline, successful business’ vision.

International recognition has been achieved as a result of the turnaround programme leading to numerous awards for the airline’s innovative and high quality products and services:

    These include:

    --  Best Onboard Catering in First and Business Class (Skytrax
        World Airline Catering Awards 2005)

    --  Best designed in-flight magazine (American Creativity

    --  Middle East Leading First Class Airline (World Travel Awards

    --  World's Leading Airport Lounge (World Travel Awards 2005)

    --  Middle East & North African Platinum Best Airline (MENA Travel
        Awards 2004

    --  Most Improved Airline (Skytrax Awards 2004)

    --  Middle East First Class Airline (Arabian Business Awards)

    --  Best new product launch for in-flight services (PAX
        international Readership Awards)

    --  Best First Class Onboard Food (Skytrax Food Category 2004)

    --  Best Business Class Check-in (Skytrax Check-in Category 2004)

    --  Middle East region's best airport restaurant for its
        restaurant in Bahrain International Airport lounge (PAX
        International Readership Awards 2005)

Official Airline and Sponsor of the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix 2006

    CONTACT: Sabre Airline Solutions, Southlake
             Media Contact
             Rebecca Hauger, 682-605-4098

    SOURCE: Sabre Airline Solutions