Sabre Travel Network
said today that Italian flag carrier Alitalia has joined its Direct Connect Availability (DCA) Three-Year Option. This programme commits the carrier to a three-year term at the highest level of participation in the Sabre global distribution system (GDS) in exchange for a reduced booking fee, fixed for three years.
Alitalia follows British Airways as the second major European carrier to participate in the DCA Three-Year Option.
“This is seen widely across Europe as one of the most constructive and innovative initiatives to have come out of the GDS sector in recent years,” said Vittorino Capobianco, Alitalia’s vice president of direct sales, loyalty and distribution. “Sabre Travel Network has recognised the challenge airlines face with ongoing distribution costs and has acted not only to address these concerns, but also to safeguard its position as the world’s leading travel commerce company.”
When selling seats through the Sabre GDS, airlines select one of several levels of participation in the system. DCA is the highest level of Sabre GDS participation and provides airlines with the widest range of services to market and sell their products. The Three-Year Option was introduced for bookings made in the United States in October 2002, and was extended in April 2003 to include bookings made in Europe.
Airlines signing the DCA Three-Year Option agree to provide all Sabre users with full content information. This includes published fares that the airlines sell through any third-party Web site or their own Web sites and reservation offices. In return, Sabre Travel Network reduces its booking fee and fixes this rate for three years.
Richard Adams, Sabre Travel Network’s senior vice president for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said: “It’s an innovative programme and we have had an immense amount of interest. It’s certainly enhanced our competitive position in markets all around the world.”