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Sabre wins Africa contract

Ethiopian Airlines is signing a contract worth over US$10.5 million with Sabre Airline Solutions for its passenger management system. Under the agreement Ethiopian Airlines is migrating off a SITA system and onto the SabreSonic Passenger Solutions technology platform by the end of this year (2006).

The airline will use SabreSonic reservations, online booking, e-ticketing, code-sharing and departure control systems.  It will also use the Sabre Traveler Loyalty System frequent flyer management product and the Sabre AirPrice fares management system. 

“The key phrase behind our new relationship with Sabre Airline Solutions is ‘systems integration’,” said Ato Girma Wake, Ethiopian Airlines’ chief executive officer.  “As the IT needs of Ethiopian grow and evolve, we believe Sabre Airline Solutions will be able to accommodate us, both with its products and through its renowned consulting business. We see this new co-operation as a partnership that will allow both our companies to expand their presence in Africa and beyond.”

Ethiopian is Africa’s aviation pioneer and has recently embarked on an ambitious expansion programme. It will also be Africa’s launch customer for the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner in 2008.  Ato Girma Wake said Ethiopian planned to expand significantly over the next five years and needed to upgrade its marketing, operational and decision-support systems.  Sabre Airline Solutions’ passenger management system portfolio will play a key role in harnessing Ethiopian’s growth plan.

Ato Girma Wake said Ethiopian would see particular expansion in the international market and in cargo transportation, but would also be growing domestically.  The airline opened a new flight to Paris last year, and is considering new routes to the US and China.  It is also considering code-sharing and airline alliance options.  This expansion is driving a need for Ethiopian to upgrade its marketing, operational and decision-support technology, he said, and the airline wishes to move towards a single-supplier strategy for most of its systems.


“This is the first major step we are taking to enable Ethiopian with its ambitious business plans,” said Murray Smyth, Sabre Airline Solutions’ senior vice president for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. “We plan further to co-operate with Ethiopian to maximise its future business performance.”