Aeroflot Russian Airlines said today it had successfully migrated the airline and its many affiliated travel agencies in Russia to a comprehensive booking and ticketing solution from Sabre.Ê The move is part of a bundled distribution and operational systems contract the airline has signed with Sabre Airline Solutions and the GDS operator, Sabre Travel Network.
ÊThe deal involves a customised version of the Sabre distribution system for 500 Aeroflot-affiliated travel agents, along with Sabre Airline Solutions’ SabreSonic suite of reservations and passenger management solutions.
Russian travel agents will benefit greatly from the new customised distribution solution, which is based on Sabre Travel Network’s MySabre booking product, a combination of technology from Sabre Holdings and Yahoo!.Ê It is a Web based booking product for travel agents and combines traditional products bookable in the Sabre GDS, such as airlines, car hire, hotels, cruise and rail, with content from the Internet and third-party suppliers. It first appeared in British travel agencies late last year and has been responsible for a number of new business wins in the UK market since.
MySabre simplifies the booking process by combining traditional Sabre system screens and codes with drop-down menus and the ability to use a mouse to enter data. Agents can simply ‘point and click’ at booking information, or drop down items, reducing the number of keystrokes needed to complete a booking.Ê Hotel and car bookings are twice as quick as
With unlimited access to the Sabre system’s resources, MySabre Aeroflot will give Aeroflot-affiliated travel agencies in Russia and elsewhere greater booking capabilities than ever before.Ê It includes requirements of the local market and contains screens, prompts and instructions with Cyrillic support.
More than 1,500 Sabre terminals have been installed in Aeroflot offices and about 5,500 in the Aeroflot affiliated agencies.Ê
“Aeroflot’s objective for the future is to continue making use of the most advanced and efficient technologies which exist in the industry,” said Eugene Bachurin, Aeroflot commercial director. “For this reason, we chose Sabre’s technology package. Sabre provides more flexibility in the areas of air travel reservation and sales and ticketing than any other offering currently available while at the same time ensuring maximum efficiency from both the travel agents and the airline sales offices.Ê In addition, the new technology offers a variety of new functions which will benefit Aeroflot and travel agencies and will help to improve customer service.”
Today’s migration involved switching all current reservation records from Aeroflot’s current technology (provided by SITA) for its inventory system for airline tickets reservation and sales to SabreSonic.Ê More than 300,000 passenger records were successfully switched in 31 minutes during the conversion; over 10,000+ records a minute. ÊSabre also provided new technology and services for passenger departure control at Moscow’s Sheremetievo airport.
The transition to the new reservation and ticketing system required modernisation of the existing hardware and testing of the existing terminal connections, as well as installation of the new ones.
Noting the significance of the switch to the new technology package from Sabre, Gianni Marostica, president of Sabre Airline Solutions, said, “This cutover has huge implications for Aeroflot and its role as a major international airline as well as advancing customer-oriented travel services within Russia. The Sabre team recognised the importance of this accomplishment and dedicated itself to making it successful.Ê We are pleased that our new generation solution was ready for Aeroflot to implement in the timeframe it required rather than depending on promises of future developments, and the successful cutover today does truly separate us from our competitors’ rhetoric in this regard.Ê We congratulate Aeroflot’s Sabre team on a great achievement for the industry.”
Aeroflot customers will be able to take advantage of the ability to directly book travel worldwide including airlines, car rental agencies, cruises, tour operators and rail outside of Russia - made possible through the customised distribution solution for travel agents.Ê Agents will also be able to take advantage of automation of many tasks that had required manual input with the previous technology.
For the airline, the new technology will significantly reduce Aeroflot’s distribution costs, streamline operations and play a key role in its plans for growth in the international market.
Other software will help Aeroflot plan and optimise its air loads.Ê This helps save fuel costs, increasingly important in current market conditions.Ê Sabre also will be enabling technology solutions for Aeroflot’s participation in the SkyTeam alliance.
According to Sergey Kiryushin, Aeroflot deputy director general, IT department director, Sabre Airline Solutions is planning to also implement an internet booking engine, which will provide the ability for travellers to directly book and ticket travel on Aeroflot’s website.
“We are also working to get the airline ready for the transition to e-ticketing,” he said. “The only outstanding issue in terms of this transition is the current legal restriction on e-tickets issuance in Russia. However, hopefully this issue will also be resolved to introduce this capability to the Russian marketplace.”