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Ta k i n g

y o u r

a i r l i n e


t o

n e w

h e i g h t s


A conversation with …

David Siegel, CEO, US Airways INSIDE

Traditional carriers launch low-fare subsidiaries

How airlines weathered "the perfect storm"

Cathay Pacific Airways’ crisis management process

© 2009 Sabre Inc. All rights reserved.


company already cancelled. Based on centralized

both the AirOps suite and the Flight

user-defined, taking into consideration

planning and decision making, while

Control suite.

variables such as booking class (high-

The Sabre ® AirOps ™

leveraging the benefits of local, decen-

versus low-yield), down-line connections,

tralized action, the integrated recovery

Reaccommodation Manager optimally

passenger profile (unaccompanied

method brings together the best of both

re-assigns passengers whose flights

minors), frequent-flyer-tier level,

worlds. In effect, decisions made at the

have been disrupted. The system

ticketing status, boarding pass status

airport would be driven by the central-

or others depending on the airline’s

ized airline operations control center


The Winning Combination United Airlines successfully utilizes multiple Sabre Travel Network distribution products to maximize revenue-generating opportunities and manage distribution costs.

such that a global approach is taken

Pushing Technology Forward

to re-accommodate passengers.

Most technology solutions in sched-

The Tools for the Job

By Erin Buth | Ascend Contributor

ule recovery focus mainly on optimizing

The Sabre Airline Solutions product

the disrupted schedule by minimizing

development teams in conjunction with

operational disruption. Although helpful,

t’s no secret that the airline industry

At the highest connectivity level, United

this approach seldom considers the


United aggressively distributes

the research group have been working

is experiencing pressures due to the

tickets and targets sales through chan-

is provided with a wide range of services

closely together to develop the fully

commercial variables in formulating

difficult economic environment and the

nels that produce the highest revenue.

to market and sell flight and fare infor-

integrated schedule recovery system.

the optimized solution. An optimized

resulting changes in consumer behavior

Participating in the Direct Connect

mation to approximately 56,000 Sabre

Availability option enables United to offer

Connected SM travel agents around

distribution costs is a key “ Lowering component of our strategic plan to reduce expenses. ”

its customers access to all published

the world.

As a precursor to the final integrated recovery product, decision-support functionality has been incorporated into several products, including the Sabre ® AirOps ™ Control suite, the Sabre ®

The airline integrated recovery model incorporates various departments within an airline to develop a more optimal solution to recover from schedule disruptions.

Flight Control suite for small- , mediumsized and low-cost airlines and the Sabre

solution considers factors such as passenger mix (high- versus low-yield passengers) on re-directed flights, degree of competition on the route (passengers’ choice of airlines) and route and flight profitability. As these

fares, including Web fares, through the

United’s use of MIDT is another

travel agency channel. The Direct Connect

effective tool that sharpens its competi-

Availability option also helps United gain

tive edge, maximizes market potential,

market share in routes where there is

develops meaningful sales incentive

new scheduling concepts are embraced

and attitude toward travel. Although

heavy competition and sensitivity to

plans and improves overall operations.

user-defined criteria such as frequent

by decision-support vendors and sub-

airlines around the world are acutely

price. This approach increases its sales

MIDT provides United with vital sales

The AirOps and Flight Control suites

flyer status, fare paid or class of travel,

sequently airlines, they will improve

aware of the need to lower costs and

opportunities and reduces the time it

intelligence including sales sources and

include a real-time flight operations

prioritizing the passenger list based on

the existing business processes and

increase revenue, United Airlines is

takes for travel agents and consumers

its position in the marketplace relative

management and movement control

calculated values to create alternative

practices. Schedule disruptions cannot

particularly focused on improving its

to shop for and purchase United’s best

to the competition. This tool provides

system designed to monitor an airline’s

itineraries. The system’s automated

be eliminated, but they can be optimally

bottom line by using advanced tech-

deals. The three-year option also reduces

key transaction data enabling United to

operations and provide alerts for potential

alert process notifies passengers of

managed. As researchers continue

nology to achieve its goals.

maintenance and operating constraint

their new itinerary. Because the system

to push technology, airlines will have

A component of its successful strat-

violations. The AirCrews system includes

simplifies the process of moving

more sophisticated tools to minimize

egy has been to utilize a variety of Sabre

a day-of-operations module designed to

misplaced passengers and minimizes

the effects — and costs — associated

Travel Network products to effectively

assist crew trackers with managing the

schedule changes, customer service

with irregular operations. The future

manage ticket distribution and other

impact of schedule changes and disrup-

and loyalty is enhanced. And automat-

mission of the airline operations

operating costs as well as capitalize on

tions on crew scheduling. Sabre Airline

ing the re-accommodation process

research community will be to deliver


Solutions has introduced the Sabre ®

also reduces costs. At the core of

next-generation scheduling and plan-

ing opportunities.

AirOps™ Decision Manager — a decision-

Sabre Airline Solutions’ suite of pas-

ning tools that meet the prevailing

Turnkey solutions

support tool that incorporates the sched-

senger re-accommodation tools is the

needs of the industry and offer further

contributing to

ule recovery, aircraft recovery and pas-

Passenger Reservation System. The

opportunities for improved efficiencies,

this strategy

senger flow models. The system helps

system provides the necessary flexibility

enhanced productivity and increased

include the Sabre ® Direct Connect

airlines find new aircraft assignments

to accommodate passengers by flight

attention to the impact on the airline’s


that have the least impact on the current

leg or origin and destination. This


keting information data tapes from the

fee for the next three years. Through

schedule and are maintenance feasible.

enables airlines to take the passenger’s

Sabre Global Distribution System and

the program, United receives discounted

Sabre Travel Network, Aggregate TCN,

It is available as a supplemental product

entire itinerary into consideration

Sabre ® Aggregate Ticket Control Number.

booking fees in exchange for participat-

United now has insight to the full spec-


—Three-Year Option, mar-


Michael Clarke is a research

Photos courtesy of United Airlines

values each passenger according to

AirCrews ™ crew management system.


Through the Direct Connect Availability — Three-Year Option, United Airlines offers its customers access to all published fares, including Web fares, through the travel agency channel.

United’s cost of ticket distribution by

analyze booking levels and competitive

providing it with a fixed, discounted

market share. Utilizing the latest innovation from

for Sabre AirOps™ Movement Manager

when selecting alternative flights for

ing at the highest level in the Global

trum of fares and the prices consumers

as well as the Sabre ® FliteTrac system

re-accommodation. The automated

the research group supporting

Distribution System and providing

are willing to pay for any given itinerary.

and can be seamlessly integrated with

process is entirely table-driven and

Sabre Airline Solutions.

access to its full fares and content.

Aggregate TCN is the only source for


74 ascend

and development lead in

october 2003


company competitive fare data allowing United

how United’s advance sales compare

products to accomplish this while

to monitor its own pricing initiatives

to that of the competition. The data

continuing the highest level of service

against what its competitors are selling

is invaluable for making decisions on

to our customers.”

in the same markets. The system pro-

pricing promotions and viewing how

vides airlines with all ticketing activity

the market is selling.

in the Global Distribution System

“Lowering distribution costs is a

By utilizing multiple tools, United

making contact Optimal performance for airlines and airports

To suggest a topic for a possible

has been able to maximize revenue-

future article, change your address

generating opportunities and manage

or add someone’s name to the mail-

excluding passenger personal data,

key component of our strategic plan

distribution costs, enabling it to sustain

ing list, please send an e-mail mes-

corporate, agency and commission-

to reduce expenses,” said Greg Taylor,

long-term cost benefits.

sage to the Ascend staff at

related elements. The system is an

senior vice president of planning for

affordable element of marketing

United. “We saw the opportunity to

research that provides insight into

use a variety of Sabre Travel Network Erin Buth is a sales marketing manager for Sabre Travel Network.

For more information about products and services featured in this issue of Ascend, please visit our Web site at www.sabreairlinesolu-



H I G H or contact one of the fol-


lowing Sabre Airline Solutions

News Briefs from Around the Globe

regional representatives: Asia/Pacific



Mike Baldwin Senior Vice President

American Airlines, Continental

American — “Lower distribution

Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Northwest

costs plus broader availability of our

Macenczak, Delta’s senior vice president,

Airlines, United Airlines

fares to the largest subscriber base

sales and distribution. “The program

means Sabre DCA is a real winner

also allows us to further reduce distri-

for American,” said Craig Kreeger,

bution costs and reflects our confidence

American's vice president-sales.

in the value of the Global Distribution

“Innovative solutions for today’s

System and its operating efficiencies as

Direct Connect Availability SM — Three-

marketplace make Sabre Travel

a high-yield channel.”

Year Option, which commits the carriers

Network our preferred GDS provider.”

What Elected to participate in the Sabre ®

to a three-year term at the highest level

Continental — “Providing travelers

lished and Web-only fares,” said Lee

Northwest — “Participating in the


Level 9, Phillips Building 15 Blue Street North Sydney NSW 2060 Australia Phone: 61 2 8923 5230 E-mail: Europe, Middle East and Africa Vinay Dube

Sabre DCA Three-Year Option enables

Vice President

of participation in the Sabre ® Global

the maximum level of customer serv-

us to meet the important goal of low-

23-59 Staines Road

Distribution System in exchange for a

ice is the highest priority for us,” said

ering distribution costs while serving

Somerville House

reduced booking fee rate that is fixed

Jim Compton, senior vice president

travelers through multiple channels,”

Hounslow, Middlesex

for three years. As part of the agreement,

of marketing for Continental Airlines.

said Al Lenza, vice president of distri-

TW3 3HE, United Kingdom

the airlines will provide all published

“This program improves our ability

bution and e-commerce with Northwest

Phone: 44 20 8814 4540

fares, including fares they sell through

to do that by offering customers access

Airlines. “This new initiative demon-


their own or third-party Web sites, to

to all published fares, including Web

strates Northwest’s efforts to make all

all users of the Global Distribution

fares. It also helps us meet a key

our publicly available fares and content

System, including more than 56,000

business objective to further reduce

available where it is economically

Sabre Connected SM online and offline

distribution costs. We recognize the

viable for us to do so.”

travel agencies. The program now

effectiveness of the Global Distribution

includes bookings made in the United

System, which offers one of the highest

tomers with a full range of our fares in

States, U.S. Virgin Islands, the

yielding channels.”

a cost-effective manner for all parties,

Caribbean and Europe.

United — “It will provide our cus-

Delta — “Through this new partner-

while allowing us to significantly reduce

ship, we will give our customers added

our distribution costs at the same time,"

flexibility, choice and convenience through

said Greg Taylor, United Airlines’ senior

broader multi-channel access to our pub-

vice president-planning.

The Americas Walter Jacobs

These are unprecedented times in the air transport industry. But there’s one thing you can count on. Sabre Airline Solutions will be here, providing innovative technology solutions for your toughest challenges. Just as we have through five decades — in good times and in bad — for more than 200 airlines worldwide. Times like these demand fresh thinking. Proven, ROI-based solutions. And a technology partner that can not only see the future, but can help you reach it. Times like these demand Sabre Airline Solutions.

Vice President 1 E. Kirkwood Blvd. Southlake, Texas 76092 United States Phone: 817 264 7657 E-mail:


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