, the leading global distribution system (GDS) and travel industry technology provider, has announced its 2003 pricing for distribution services offered to airlines.
Effective in 2003, Sabre is raising its booking fees by a global average of 2.9%, which brings the new figure to US$4.48 (Compared to that of US$4.35 in 2002)
The price increase is coupled with an initiative to help make Sabre the
most cost effective GDS option for airlines in Europe. The introduction of the Sabre discounted Direct Connect Availability programme for European points of sale, already implemented in the US, offers airlines significant discounts on their Sabre booking fees - in return, they must make all their web and special fares available in the Sabre GDS.
Sabre stress that they understand the financial concerns of airline customers, and have worked hard to reduce their costs aggressively and to minimise the need for any fee increase, having introduced several innovative programmes in 2002 to provide carriers with ways to lower their Sabre booking fees, including the Corporate Connect and discounted DCA programmes. In addition, they have taken significant actions to lower costs, including a staff reduction of 26 percent since January 2000 and other internal initiatives.
However, Sabres costs continue to rise due to increased data processing for extensive shopping activity and agent incentives - which continue to rise faster than the increase in bookings.
A Sabre spokesman commented: “In fact, the increase announced today captures only about half of our projected increase in costs in 2003. It is also in line with increases in inflation in 2002”.
Over the last year, airlines realised over US$45 billion in revenue for segments booked through the Sabre GDS, reflecting the demands placed on travel agents to search thoroughly for low fares on behalf of their travellers before finally making a booking.