ATA Buys Sabre Scheduling Systems.

American Trans Air is to purchase the Sabre PC AirFlite flight scheduling system and Sabre GatePlan gate schedule system. The purchase of the new systems will provide ATA with an automated process to help reduce operating costs, increase revenue and improve customer service.

The PC AirFlite system is a PC-based system that automates the scheduling process and helps schedulers optimize flight schedules to best meet their operational requirements. Schedulers using the system can calculate the profitability of a schedule by using `what if` features; load other airlines` schedules in order to make competitive comparisons to recommend strategic partners; and perform cost analysis across different segments, markets and equipment types, improving overall network profitability. PC AirFlite system users have reported an additional 5 percent of unused fleet availability to use for extra miles. The system is currently used by 57 airlines worldwide.

The GatePlan system offers an automated decision-support tool to assign gates to existing schedules in an efficient, cost-effective manner. The system improves utilization of aircraft parking positions by three to five percent; increases customer service; and improves efficiency of airport operations. Ten airlines and airports worldwide are currently using the GatePlan system.

According to Claire Farrand, director of Information Services and Project Manager for American Trans Air, the GatePlan system will help the airline with scheduling at Chicago Midway Airport, an airport currently undergoing a remodeling project that requires the periodic opening and closing of gates.