Pakistan Air, Sabre extend distribution

Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) is extended its distribution agreement with Sabre Travel Network for a further five years.  As part of the agreement it has upgraded its participation in the Sabre global distribution system (GDS) to Direct Connect Availability (DCA), the highest level of connectivity. This gives agents access to real time information about an airline’s last seat availability and fares.

The Pakistani carrier is also implementing several added-value products from Sabre Travel Network, including the release of e-ticketing for Sabre Connected travel agents in the US and Canadian markets, with other markets to follow shortly, and the Claim It reservations product which allows travel agencies to take ownership of, or ‘claim’, Passenger Name Records (PNRs) created by the airline, directly from the Sabre system.

The distribution agreement is bundled with operational and decision-support tools from Sabre Travel Network’s sister business, Sabre Airline Solutions.

“Sabre Holdings, as a whole, has successfully transcended the traditional relationship between GDS operator and airline, which was based solely on distribution,” said Tariq Kirmani, PIA’s Chairman and CEO.  “While traditional GDSs remain the travel industry’s most effective and profitable channel of sales and distribution, we definitely intend to grow our business through the intelligent use of multiple distribution channels.  Sabre, with its unrivalled presence in every channel of travel sales and distribution, remains a strong distribution partner for us.”

“PIA’s approach to its distribution and operational technology is innovative and forward-thinking,” said John Stow, President of Sabre Travel Network.  “It’s a significant airline and an important global partner for the entire Sabre Holdings business.  I am pleased that our breadth of business in all travel channels could provide solid proof of a unique portfolio, and deliver PIA the distribution and operational value that they require.”

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Asad H Siddiq, director of Gifto Travel, said: “We welcome these enhancements and view Sabre as a key partner which adds value to our business.”

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