Air Italy signs million dollar Sabre deal

Air Italy has
signed a $3.1 million USD, five-year deal with Sabre Airline
Solutions.The contract covers reservations,
check-in, ticketing and online booking components of the SabreSonic
Passenger Solutions suite of passenger management products. It also
comprises customer relationship, codeshare and fares management
products, as well as an automated tool that will help streamline the
collection of ticketing fees arising from itinerary changes and

  Air Italy’s investment in technology follows recent news that it
had impressed Italian lenders sufficiently to secure EUR 30 million
($37.6 million USD) of capital expenditure funding.

  The SabreSonic Ticket component will give Air Italy full
electronic ticketing capabilities ahead of the IATA-mandated 2007
e-ticketing deadline, by which time paper tickets are due to be phased
out completely.

  Air Italy will use the SabreSonic Web online booking component to
drive two Web sites - one for the general public and the other for its
travel agency partners. These will display and sell Air Italy’s own
products, as well as those of its partner airlines, hotels and car
hire companies.

  The Sabre AirPrice fares management system will allow the airline
to manage its fares more tactically. The airline’s pricing analysts
will use it to examine all market developments and data, including
competitor fare changes, and make fare-based decisions quickly and


  Air Italy is changing its business model from a charter airline to
scheduled services and therefore intends to place more emphasis on
effective customer relationship management (CRM). It will use Sabre
Airline Solutions’ Customer Insight CRM database to ensure that
customer profile data is collected, displayed and updated wherever the
traveler comes into contact with the airline - be it through online
booking, call centers or check-in. This will lead to more effective
relationship development and direct marketing.

  Air Italy’s decision to use the SabreSonic suite of products was
due, in part, to the products’ integrated PNR (passenger name record)
technology. The airline concluded that there was significant
competitive advantage in the fact that reservations, inventory and
departure control systems all use the same core data, regardless of
when or where that information is updated.

  Any PNR update made by one travel agent or airline staff member is
instantly available to anyone looking at the PNR elsewhere in the
system, resulting in the best possible service for every passenger at
each stage of the booking and travel process.

  “It goes almost without saying that we liked Sabre Airline
Solutions’ technology,” said Air Italy CEO Captain Giuseppe Gentile.
“But what is less obvious, unless one has previously undertaken a
major IT implementation project, is the importance of a diligent
migration process on the part of your supplier, as well as dedicated
assistance from that organization before, during and afterwards. Sabre
Airline Solutions’ European track record in both these areas is
stellar, and helped differentiate them significantly.”

  Another differentiation, according to Gentile, was the breadth of
Sabre Airline Solutions’ range of operational and decision-support
technology. “We are keen to use single suppliers wherever possible and
we found that Sabre Airline Solutions is able to help us in every area
of our business development - something few other IT suppliers could
do,” he said.

  “Air Italy is planning on significant growth in their scheduled
operations in the increasingly competitive Italian market” said Murray
Smyth, Sabre Airline Solutions’ senior vice-president for the EMEA
region. “New generation, ‘open systems solutions’ such as the
SabreSonic solutions, combined with selected services from our airline
consulting group, will help Air Italy clearly establish the
competitiveness of their brand, product and customer services.”