Emirates has signed a ten-year distribution deal with travel distribution provider Sabre Holdings, that will see the two companies launch distribution services in five African countries: South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.Emirates, through its distribution arm EmQuest, will also distribute Sabre products to travel agencies in the United Arab Emirates.
The deal was signed in Dubai by Emirates’ Chairman and CEO Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum and Sabre Holdings’ CEO Sam Gilliland.
The companies said it was the first of several collaborative initiatives which they planned.
The deal with Sabre will replace EmQuest’s current agreement with rival GDS Galileo which ends in December 2008.
Tom Klein, president of Sabre Travel Network and Airline Solutions, said the two organisations shared a desire to invest in the new markets of Africa.
He said: “We look forward to growing our business with them and furthering our relationship with the Emirates Group’s various business divisions.
“Today’s agreement will significantly expand our footprint in the Middle East where we have successfully operated for almost 20 years.”