Sabre Travel Network is implementing a new feature integrated into the standard travel agency desktop of its global distribution system (GDS) which allows airlines to leverage special fares and fare packages in a more powerful way, delivering advanced capabilities to Sabre-Connected travel agents.
Sabre has incorporated Sabre Branded Fares into its GDS for launch partner, Qantas Airways. This will enable the airline to package and brand a variety of fares featuring different attributes. This new way to display its fares in all channels allows Qantas to capitalize on its marketing efforts while simplifying their fare structure.
Sabre Branded Fares enables airlines to effectively deliver their unique value via Sabre’s efficient marketplace.
“Airlines in Australia and New Zealand have led the move to using a select number of branded ‘fare families’ that have simple, but clearly differentiated rules. This has also enabled carriers to assign attributes to the various fare families to differentiate themselves in this highly competitive market place,” according to Hans Belle, vice president of marketing for Sabre Travel Network. “This innovative feature significantly enhances an airline’s product branding and consistency across channels to the benefit of travel agencies and the end consumer.
Belle added that there are multiple price points with common rules within each ‘fare family’ that are individually inventory controlled on each flight according to demand. However, now an agent only has to look for the lowest available fare within the chosen ‘fare family’ - an approach now employed by numerous airlines around the world, he said.
“Sabre developed special technology to enable Qantas to clearly differentiate its fares and compete on value rather than on price alone,” Belle said. “Sabre Branded Fares allow for a flexible one-way fare structure, offering features beyond the normal fare rules and it also enables agents to easily locate and book the lowest fare available within a fare family.
“An additional benefit is that Sabre availability displays are less crowded but agents have the option to use the traditional availability displays or the new, simplified ‘fare family’ displays, with both available right in their traditional agent desktop,” according to Belle.
Sabre’s continued innovations, including branded fares and merchandizing capabilities, allow airlines to set themselves apart from their competition both locally and globally.
Through this new solution airlines can clearly communicate attributes that differentiate their products from competitor products, while also providing insight to travel agents on the differences that exist within an individual airline’s fare products through the travel agency channel. This is a clear win for all parties—agents, travelers, and Qantas.
“Qantas is very pleased to be the launch partner for Sabre Branded Fares and merchandizing,” said Peter Kelly, Qantas general manager distribution strategy and planning. “Qantas has been on the leading edge of changing the way airlines sell fares. By providing clarity to travelers around the differences they can expect when purchasing Qantas fares across our different ‘fare families,’ this ground-breaking new capability developed by Sabre allows us to more effectively communicate the Qantas value to Sabre Connected travel agents and their travelers.”
And more innovative features are on the way.
“We plan to enhance these capabilities further now that we have Sabre Branded Fares, as it is a more effective sales delivery tool,” Kelly said. “Sabre is to be commended for being innovative and keeping abreast of evolution in the increasingly competitive global aviation market place.”
Kelly said the initiative was one of many the airline plans to implement in association with Sabre that will assist agents in their day-to-day selling operations and reduce the potential for error.
Qantas recently renewed a Full Content Distribution Agreement with Sabre globally for a further five years.
“We expect other airlines to see the marketing advantages of Sabre Branded Fares, too and have been working with additional airlines around the world to help them adopt these tools and promote the differentiation of their products and services,” Belle said.
Sabre Branded Fares is part of Sabre’s Distribution Merchandising Suite, which provides agencies and airlines with an enhanced and consistent message throughout the availability and shopping processes. It is currently in limited release with Qantas, covering Australian domestic fares. Sabre agents in Australia who participated in the pilot version of this new feature have provided very complimentary feedback.