Sabre Travel Network has appointmented Martin Cowley as senior vice-president of its Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) business. Cowley will step into his new role on 1 July.
Cowley, currently chief executive of Sabre Pacific, brings to his new position more than 25 years of unique global experience and success in the airline, travel and distribution industries. A graduate in modern languages at Oxford University, he spent 20 years with the Swire Group and held a variety of executive positions in nine countries, predominantly with Cathay Pacific Airways where, among other roles, he was regional general manager in France for three years. As the airline’s general manager of alliances Cowley was a founding member of the oneworld management team and played a notable role in the establishment of the oneworld airline alliance.
Under his leadership the Sabre Pacific business has grown in size and reputation. Cowley is recognised throughout Asia as a leader in the travel industry, and has secured long-term agreements for Sabre Pacific with major Australian retail groups. Under his leadership Sabre Pacific has, for the first time, been nominated this year in the Best Agency Support category at the National Travel Industry Awards in Australia - recognition of its innovation and commitment to winning the loyalty of the local travel community.
“Martin’s experience, including significant time spent working in Europe, makes him the perfect choice to take Sabre Travel Network in EMEA to the next level,” said Tom Klein, group president of Sabre Travel Network and Sabre Airline Solutions. “I am confident Martin will build on Sabre Travel Network’s success in the EMEA region over recent years, which includes new long-term, full content agreements with British Airways and Air France, the successful conversion of several large global accounts, and making our business in the Middle East the fastest growing in the region. We are very fortunate to have someone with Martin’s industry insights, experience and relationships.”
“This is an exciting time for Sabre Travel Network in Europe,” said Cowley. “Change is constant in travel and we have been right at the forefront of developments, building the world’s strongest portfolio across all channels. I look forward to working with the outstanding Sabre Travel Network team in EMEA to use this tremendous set of assets to deliver on specific needs in each of the EMEA regions.”
á Separately, Sabre has announced the creation of an enhanced service model in EMEA to extend its widely-acknowledged lead in customer responsiveness. This model comprises two regional divisions and a pan-European operation covering specialist travel agencies, tailored customer solutions and training. This move is consistent with similar changes Sabre Travel Network has made elsewhere around the world.
The new specialist agency division will be headed up by Reet Wiseman, previously Sabre Travel Network’s vice-president for the UK, Ireland and Scandinavia. This new division will support a new enhanced self-service model for specialist agencies. By having a team dedicated to the management and success of Sabre Travel Network’s smaller, specialist travel agency customers, the company expects to boost service levels still further and grow its share of this important customer sector.
The two regional divisions will be focused on sales, marketing services and account management for their areas. Mario Cardone will lead the Western Europe division, which includes his current area of responsibility in southern Europe and France, as well as the UK and Ireland. Anne Roesener, who previously led the business in central and eastern Europe, will also add Scandinavia to her territory, to create the Northern, Central and Eastern Europe division.