Al-Ahram Weekly Online   7 - 13 May 2009
Issue No. 946
Sky High
Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established in 1875

Agents connect to Qatar

Naoumovitch, Al-Rais and Ebeid

QATAR Airways and Sabre Travel Network have recently renewed their airline distribution agreement giving Sabre-Connected agents in Egypt and around the world better options when booking international travel on the carrier's global route network.

The carrier said that Sabre's strong growth in the Middle East, combined with its extensive global reach, made the company an ideal partner at this time of planned regional and global expansion.

With ongoing commitment to grow its international network through the opening of new routes and boosting frequency on existing services, the airline is strengthening its marketing distribution to the corporate and leisure travel agency community.

Addressing a press conference in Cairo last week, Qatar Airways Executive Vice-President Commercial Ali Al-Rais said: "This agreement with Sabre comes at a time when we are expanding and growing our presence throughout the region and around the world. With this strategy in mind, Sabre was the obvious choice to partner with because of the scope of their presence and their track record as the premier provider of technology and distribution services."

Qatar Airways recently renewed its agreement with Sabre, in which Sabre travel agencies and corporations around the world have access to the airline's content, including fares, schedules and availability through the global distribution system.

Daniel Naoumovitch, CEO of Sabre Travel Network Middle East declined to reveal the value and duration of the contract which he considered as confidential. "Specifically, Sabre can help Qatar Airways get the maximum yield for each seat sold through our extensive corporate, online and agency partnerships around the world, while, at the same time, providing our agents efficient access to Qatar Airways' extensive range of fares, schedules and availability in all classes of travel."

According to Qatar Airways Area Manager, Rola Ebeid, the agreement covers a new range of products providing additional benefits to travel agencies. "We will adopt an automated schedule- change tool, which enables us to send real-time schedule information directly to the booking system, thereby allowing travel agencies access to our up-to-the-minute accurate schedule information," she explained. "In addition, a pre-reserved seat product will provide travel agencies with an interactive seat request application that includes instant transmission and immediate confirmation of seats from the airline, including a seat map display," Ebeid added.

Qatar Airways operates a fleet of 68 Airbus and Boeing aircraft to 84 destinations from its Doha hub. Over the next 12 months, the airline will expand its international route network to include Sydney and Melbourne in Australia, and Goa and Amritsar in India. Its fleet size will almost double to 110 aircraft by 2013.

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