ABACUS International, the Asia-Pacific GDS, has announced in a press release today that it intends to acquire 49% of Sabre Pacific, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sabre Inc., as the next step in developing growth opportunities in the Australia Asia-Pacific travel market.
ABACUS President and Chief Executive Officer, Don Birch, said the investment in Sabre Pacific would enable ABACUS to respond better to new technologies and competitive forces affecting the travel industry in Asia, Australia and New Zealand.
“We see this as a strategic investment at a critical time in the evolution of the travel industry,” he said. “New technologies and the Internet are creating novel opportunities and competitive pressures in international travel markets. Our investment at this time will ensure ABACUS continues to be well positioned for the long-term development of the strongly growing markets in Asia-Pacific, Australia and New Zealand by improving our technologies, products and understanding of customer needs. ABACUS Australia and Sabre Pacific will continue to operate as independent competing brands with separate management, marketing and products ” Mr Birch added “I want to assure subscribers that the proposed acquisition will not cause any disruption to their businesses as the computer platform and the products will be unaffected. On the contrary, our expectation is we can respond to global changes with improved products and technologies that will enhance customer service levels in the future.”
ABACUS Australia, which started in 1991, currently has offices in Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth. Sabre Pacific welcomed the ABACUS investment, saying it would bring additional management diversity to Sabre Pacific and allow it to offer its IT consultancy services to ABACUS and its customers.
Separately, ABACUS International will license its proprietary fares management system, FareX, to TravelSky Technology Ltd, the leading provider of information technology solutions for China`s air travel and tourism industry.
In the agreement, FareX will provide the foundation for Chinese airlines served by TravelSky to offer a more complex airfares regime. This Chinese version of FareX will be used by TravelSky to distribute both published and net fares in China. This will result in more flexible market pricing based on market demand. Besides technical training, Farex will also do some customisation for TravelSky. Work has already started and a team of FareX and TravelSky executives is being formed to handle the project. The new FareX system for TravelSky will be ready for testing by the end of November. The system is expected to be implemented by early 2002.
Today nine airlines, British Airways, China Airlines, Cathay Pacific, EVA Airways, Garuda Airlines, Philippine Airlines, Royal Brunei Airlines and Singapore Airlines, participate in FareX to manage, distribute and update “live” net fares to hundreds of travel agencies in six major ABACUS markets, including Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan. ABACUS President & CEO Don Birch inked the agreement with Xiao Yin Hong, Vice President of TravelSky, and Yang Long, President of China Aviation Supply Import/Export Company, on 25 September 2001.
“This milestone agreement with TravelSky merely enhances ABACUS` long and fruitful relationship with China`s aviation leaders,” Mr Birch said. “Together with TravelSky, we can value add and help implement more sophisticated reservations and distribution functions in this very important market.” Besides the FareX deal, ABACUS and its technology partner, Sabre, also signed a strategic technology accord with TravelSky earlier this year in March.