Etihad Airways has announced a deal valued at more than a $1 billion with aviation computer technology provider Sabre Airline Solutions.
The result of an exhaustive selection process, the ten-year deal will see Etihad utilise cutting edge, integrated software across its reservations, inventory, marketing, planning, eCommerce, distribution and departure control operations.
The Sabre-created software will be implemented by February 2013 and will significantly reduce the airline’s technology costs while streamlining processes considerably.
Etihad Airways chief executive, James Hogan, said: “This groundbreaking deal will play a pivotal role in providing Etihad Airways with the tools necessary to achieve its next phase of growth and profitability targets in an innovative, sustainable and cost effective manner.
“It will be the single largest technology-enabled business change that Etihad Airways will undertake in a decade.
“Sabre came to us with a world class product that we believe will help us increase revenues but also take our outstanding customer service to another level.
“This integrated approach not only gives us cost certainty, but creates efficiencies of scale.
“We are fortunate to be in a position, unlike legacy carriers, to be able to implement this software across the board.”
Etihad Airways chief executive James Hogan shakes hands with Sabre counterpart Sam Gilliland
Also included in the deal is a multi-year, full content distribution agreement to provide Sabre-connected travel agents worldwide with real time access to Etihad Airways’ flight and scheduling information.
Etihad Airways will also be able to access the Sabre global distribution system to market and sell products and services.
Sam Gilliland, Sabre chairman, said: “Etihad Airways is a premier airline in a growing and dynamic part of the world.
“We are privileged to work with a visionary carrier that will greatly benefit from Sabre’s best in class-in-class technology, which will provide the airline with the flexibility to adapt to the constantly changing travel marketplace.
“We very much look forward to working with Etihad Airways as it grows over the next ten years to become one of the largest airlines in the world.
“The technology we will provide will facilitate this growth considerably.”
Sabre Airline Solutions provides IT services to more than 300 airlines and 100 airports around the world.
More than 300 million passengers a year are processed by airlines using its technology.
Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, began operations in 2003, and in 2010 carried more than seven million passengers.
The carrier is recognised as the World’s Leading Airline by the World Travel Awards.