Oman Air has become the first Sabre Airline Solutions customer to implement e-ticketing in the Middle East. The airline has introduced e-ticketing capabilities successfully in its reservation offices in Muscat, Dubai, Salalah, Cairo, Bombay, Madras and Kuwait. It uses SabreSonic passenger management products for both its reservations and check-in operations at these airports, so acceptance of electronic ticketing was possible without additional third-party ground handling functionality.
Oman Air will extend e-ticketing capability to its offices in Beirut and Delhi before the end of the year. The carrier will then expand its e-ticketing capability to airports that require third-party ground handling functionality, such as Bahrain.
Phase two of the project, due for implementation in 2006, will see Oman Air implement GDS e-ticketing. This will allow travel agents to issue Oman Air e-tickets through the global distribution systems. The airline will also join Sabre Airline Solutions’ Interline Electronic Ticketing Hub next year. Interline agreements will enable the carrier to issue a single e-ticket even when the trip involves travel on other carriers.
Sabre Airline Solutions’ consulting business was engaged to address some of Oman Air business process changes to ensure a successful electronic ticketing implementation.
“The consultative element to Sabre Airline Solutions business is a real differentiator from other suppliers, adding value and easing the implementation process,” said Edward Grauvogl, Oman Air’s planning divisional manager and acting commercial divisional manager. “We were surprised by how easily e-ticketing was accepted by the local market, given our initial wariness about the introduction of this technology in a paper-driven society.”
Already 45 carriers are connected to Sabre Airline Solutions’ interline hub, including American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, JAL and Qantas.
“Oman Air is one of the most progressive airlines in the region,” said Murray Smyth, Sabre Airline Solutions’ senior vice-president for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. “It is using technology effectively to help deal with existing business challenges in the region and to prepare for anticipated trends and future developments.”