Air India and Sabre enter into new distribution agreement and advanced network planning consulting to support the carrier’s transformative ambitions
SINGAPORE and BANGALORE – April 2023 – Sabre Corporation (NASDAQ: SABR), a leading software and technology provider that powers the global travel industry, and Air India, one of India’s leading airlines and a Star Alliance member, today announced a new multi-year deal that enables travel agents and corporations around the world to access Air India fares and seats through Sabre’s extensive global travel marketplace.
Having recently placed the biggest aircraft order in aviation history for 470 aircraft, Air India is forging ahead with ambitious expansion plans. In addition to the distribution services, Air India is utilizing Sabre’s consultancy expertise to help determine optimal routes for its existing and new fleets.
“The Indian travel market is back, and it’s coming back strong,” said Nipun Aggarwal, Chief Commercial & Transformation Officer, of Air India. “So, we’re delighted to have re-established, and enhanced, our relationship with Sabre at this transformative time for Air India, and the wider Indian travel marketplace. This long-term global distribution partnership will support our ambitious growth plans while paving the ground for our transition towards a more dynamic, merchandising-focused model, designed to unlock the value of Air India’s products and services.”
“As well as coming together once more under a new GDS agreement, we’re excited to be working hand-in-hand with Sabre’s incredibly knowledgeable consultancy team on the development of a clean-sheet, long-term network plan,” added Mr Aggarwal. “We are confident this will strengthen Air India’s position in our domestic and international routes, and help us to become more competitive on the global aviation stage. We are delighted to further strengthen our relationship with Sabre, and look forward to closer collaboration in the coming years.”
Now under the ownership of the Tata Group, Air India, as part of its five-year transformation plan, titled Vihaan.AI because it means ‘the dawn of a new era’ in Sanskrit, is substantially expanding its fleet and network, revamping its customer proposition, and improving reliability in operations to emerging as one of the world’s premier carriers.
The new deal marks an important new chapter in the relationship between Air India and Sabre and is a testament to Sabre’s commitment to the Indian travel market. The expertise housed in Sabre’s Bengaluru capability centre will provide close proximity support for Air India’s innovation and transformation journey.
While historically, airlines building a schedule for the next season have relied on previous plans, clean-sheet scheduling gives carriers the ultimate flexibility to develop a more optimal schedule for operational efficiency, increased reliability, enhanced revenue, and traveller satisfaction. Sabre’s consultancy work with Air India includes an in-depth market evaluation, the development of new hub and schedule structural designs, and detailed planning of route network and capacity over a 10-year horizon, as well as the optimization of fleet assignment across its system.
“We are confident Air India will gain substantial value by having access and reach to Sabre’s global network of travel agencies, in conjunction with benefiting from our route planning expertise,” said Roshan Mendis, Chief Commercial Officer, Sabre Travel Solutions. “And, our travel agency partners in India and around the world will gain greatly from having access to Air India’s products and services.”