SOUTHLAKE, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Jan. 17, 2005–Sabre and
leading Middle East carrier Gulf Air today announced that they have
signed an agreement to create a joint venture to be based in Bahrain.
The establishment of this new company, Sabre Travel Network Middle
East, brings together the world’s leading global distribution system
(GDS) and the vast local expertise of Gulf Air to further extend
world-class products and services into the Middle East region. Sabre
will have a majority ownership in the new business.
The agreement includes a five-year contract with Sabre Airline
Solutions for the SabreSonic suite of products for passenger
management, as well as additional operational software and consulting
services from Sabre Airline Solutions.
Gulf Air and Sabre Travel Network have had a marketing partnership
for nearly 15 years. The joint venture gives Sabre a stronger presence
in the Middle East through Gulf Air, an influential local partner and
an established regional carrier which, as the national airline of Abu
Dhabi, Bahrain and Oman, enjoys complete support from its owning
governments. The venture will provide technology services, bookable
travel products and distribution services for travel agencies,
corporations and travel suppliers in the region.
“The immense challenges facing the airline industry today require
a concerted collaborative effort with specialist partners in both the
public and private sectors,” said James Hogan, president and chief
executive of Gulf Air. “Sabre’s innovative business and technology
solutions make them a partner of choice in meeting our requirements
and addressing the constant challenges of the competitive market. At
the same time, Gulf Air’s regional network and strong historic and
geographic ties in the region will enable us to further leverage the
services we offer.”
Tom Klein, senior vice president and group president of Sabre
Travel Network and Sabre Airline Solutions of Sabre Holdings, added,
“This partnership is another example of the way we can deliver even
more value in a growing travel marketplace. We are excited about the
opportunity to leverage our global experience, long history of
successful supplier and agency relationships, and technology expertise
to benefit both travel suppliers and agencies.”
The agreement also expands the relationship between Sabre Airline
Solutions and Gulf Air for reservations, scheduling and operational
technology to include a new departure control system through the
SabreSonic offering and an aircraft provisioning system to streamline
its catering operation. Gulf Air will engage the consulting services
from Sabre for a major performance improvement exercise to optimize
the full commercial advantage from the operational tools and
technology the airline is using, including expanded operations
decision support technology.
“In the course of our restructuring programme, Sabre’s consulting
team has worked closely with us to achieve significant revenue
enhancement through an ongoing focus on pricing, revenue management
and sales and revenue realization,” said Hogan.
“The breadth of products and services offered by Sabre Travel
Network and Sabre Airline Solutions provides one-stop shopping for
industry-leading tools that help customers increase revenue, enhance
customer service, drive efficiency, and reduce costs,” said Klein.
“For airlines, this means a very collaborative effort to explore the
tough challenges, and then leverage our expertise to help ensure that
each carrier has the right mix of technology and marketing services to
meet its current and future business objectives.
“We are clearly seeing a trend whereby carriers are looking at
partnering with a vendor that can offer both breadth and depth of
solutions across the airline IT portfolio, including distribution,
software, and consulting services,” continued Klein. “We are pleased
to see Gulf Air select the same path as Aeroflot, the Russian
flag-carrier, Air One, the Italian carrier, and Frontier, the
U.S.-based carrier — all carriers that have chosen a vendor
partnering strategy in the last eight months.”
Sabre Inc. will be the majority owner of record for Sabre Travel
Network Middle East.
About Gulf Air
Gulf Air was founded in 1950. Today, it is owned by the Kingdom of
Bahrain, Oman and the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and is the only truly pan
Gulf carrier in the region. The airline’s network stretches from
Europe to Asia and covers 50 cities in 33 countries. The fleet is one
of the most modern in the Middle East and comprises 35 aircraft.
The airline is in the last year of a three-year strategic recovery
programme, headed by president and chief executive, James Hogan. The
airline, which is making rapid strides towards regaining profitability
in 2005, aims to further evolve by taking its renowned cultural
strengths, which have been gained over more than half a century, into
a global environment.
The dramatic turnaround in Gulf Air’s fortunes has won
international recognition. In January 2004, The Centre for Asia
Pacific Aviation (CAPA) presented the airline with the prestigious
Airline Turnaround of the Year Award for 2003. Gulf Air was also the
recipient of the 2003 Platinum Award for the Best Airline in the
Middle East and North Africa, recognizing the airline’s commitment to
Winner - Middle East and North African Platinum Best Airline Travel Award 2004 Winner - Skytrax Most Improved Airline Award 2004 Winner - Skytrax Best First Class Onboard Food Category 2004 Winner - Skytrax Best Business Class Check-in Category 2004 About Sabre Travel Network
Sabre Travel Network, a Sabre Holdings company, provides access to
the world’s leading global distribution system (GDS) enabling agents
at more than 53,000 agency locations worldwide to be travel experts.
The Sabre GDS, the first system to connect the buyers and sellers of
travel, today includes more than 400 airlines, approximately 60,000
hotels, 37 car rental companies, nine cruise lines, 35 railroads and
220 tour operators. Key brands of Sabre Travel Network include
GetThere, the leading Web-based corporate travel reservation
technology, and Jurni Network, the unique leisure travel agency
consortium that enables members to sell more products from preferred
travel suppliers using sophisticated market intelligence.
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 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
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 http://www.sabre-holdings.com.
Statements in this release which are not purely historical facts,
including statements about the expected benefits of this transaction
to Sabre Holdings Corporation, or other statements about
anticipations, beliefs, expectations, hopes, intentions or strategies
for the future, may be forward-looking statements within the meaning
of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended.
Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking
statements. All forward-looking statements are based upon information
available to Sabre Holdings Corporation on the date this report was
submitted. Sabre Holdings Corporation undertakes no obligation to
publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a
result of new information, future events or otherwise. Any
forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that could
cause actual events or results to differ materially from the events or
results described in the forward-looking statements, including risks
or uncertainties related to geopolitical developments, such as the
risk of terrorist attacks; and Sabre Holdings Corporation’s revenues
being highly dependent on the travel and transportation industries.
Sabre Holdings Corporation may not succeed in addressing these and
other risks. Further information regarding factors that could affect
our financial and other results can be found in the risk factors
section of Sabre Holdings Corporation’s most recent filing on Form
10-Q with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
CONTACT: Sabre Travel Network Nanci Williams, 682-605-2271 firstname.lastname@example.org or Sabre Airline Solutions Kathryn Hayden, 682-605-2252 email@example.com or Gulf Air Anne Tullis, 00973 17338098 0097339420815 mobile Anne.firstname.lastname@example.org SOURCE: Sabre Travel Network