Sabre Names New Leadership in Airline Divisions

Holdings Corporation has announced three leadership positions within its Airline Solutions division.

Nejib Ben-Khedher has been named managing partner of Sabre Consulting. He brings a diverse set of international and industry skills to the position. He began his career at Sabre in 1990 and has held a series of international assignments ranging from decision support solution design, development, and delivery to marketing, sales and account management. In 2000, Ben-Khedher was named as vice president of the Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) sales and account management for Sabre`s airline solutions business. In this role, he interacted with more than 50 airlines in the region. Ben-Khedher holds a Ph.D in Operations Research from the University of Michigan and a Graduate Engineering degree from the renowned French Grandes Ecoles system. He is a winner of the prestigious Franz Edelman Award for applied research in scheduling and revenue management. Fluent in three languages, he also lived and worked in four different continents.

Under Ben-Khedher`s leadership, Sabre`s EMEA Airline Solutions division achieved a record year in sales and grew more than 30% year over year in 2001. Today, the EMEA client list includes virtually every major airline in the region, representing all the alliances, and spreading from Lisbon to Moscow, and from Stockholm to Johannesburg. A number of multi-million dollar contracts, including Aeroflot, Lufthansa and Lufthansa Cargo, British Airways, El Al, Oman Air, Cargolux and Air Algerie were signed in the past 18 months. Ben-Khedher was instrumental in strengthening Sabre`s relationship with its major existing clients, such as Gulf Air and bmi, resulting in high renewal rates. Ben-Khedher also built partnerships with sub-regional organizations, such as Arab Air Carrier Organization (AACO) and has brought a more focused approach to the regional airline needs.

Heading up the Sabre Consulting group, Ben-Khedher will oversee 50 employees that currently work with more than 110 customers around the world. All employees have significant experience working in airline operations. The consulting business provides analysis as well as hands-on work to implement the recommendations from the analysis including airline turnaround, network planning, alliance partnerships, pricing and revenue management, change management, contract negotiations, distribution strategy, e-business, airline start-up assistance, flight scheduling, crew planning, and market assessment.

Vinay Dube was named to replace Ben-Khedher as regional vice president of the Airline Solutions sales and account team in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Dube brings more than 12 years of experience with Sabre, the most recent as vice president of flight scheduling products, where he helped establish the product suite as a virtual industry standard, used actively at over 60 airlines worldwide. Today, the flight scheduling customer list includes almost every major airline in the world including American Airlines, United Airlines, Continental Airlines, Northwest Airlines, America West, British Airways, Lufthansa Airlines, Air France, Alitalia, Iberia, SAS, Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific Airways, and All Nippon Airways. Over the last decade with Sabre, Dube also has spent time partnering with airlines in the European region including a year in Germany, a year in France and a year in Spain.


In addition, Walter Jacobs has been named vice president of the Airline Solutions sales and account teams in North America. As vice president of product management for crew and cargo solutions, Jacobs helped build strong client relationships and helped establish the Sabre crew products as an industry leader. Jacobs came to Sabre in 1987 following extensive work with airline carriers around the world to build a strong pipeline for crew and cargo products, as well as may years in the utilities and insurance industries.

All three of the new leadership positions will report directly to Tom Klein, president of the Airline Solutions for Sabre. Sabre`s Airline Solutions business provides three critical areas of expertise to the airline industry: airline application software, passenger services hosting as well as the consulting business.

“Nejib, Vinay and Walter are recognized industry experts with the ability to hit the ground running and immediately start tackling the issues in their respective areas,” said Klein. “Our customers value the depth of airline knowledge we have on our team. Our strategic value is in providing our customers with real solutions that help optimize their airline along with the people who can help them speed their return on investment.”

Over 200 airlines currently use Sabre`s decision support tool and services to streamline and simplify their operations. More than 70 airlines use Sabre`s Passenger Reservations System with nine new carriers signing up in 2002 and four carriers renewing their contracts this year.

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