Sabre Airline Solutions has launched its interline e-ticketing (IET) hub, which offers airlines a single link to their airline partners.
Interline agreements among different airlines enable them to share passenger information. These agreements allow passengers to use one e-ticket when their itinerary includes travel on two or more carriers.
The IET offering is part of SabreSonic, the company's next-generation passenger management suite, said Sabre spokeswoman Kathryn Hayden.
Until now, each airline's IET link was unique and customised for each partner airline, meaning that any one airline would have to have an individual agreement with each of its partners, resulting in a system that was time-consuming to create and maintain.
With the new Sabre system, once a carrier is connected to the hub, it has access to all the other connected carriers.
The IET hub supports all airline carrier technology requirements and is able to transfer electronic data from one carrier to another by translating all forms of electronic data interchange software, eliminating the extensive development that was once required for carriers to establish interline connections between individual airlines.
"I think the airlines will sign on for it," said Forrester Research analyst Henry Harteveldt. "This is a very timely technology and financially efficient offering, especially for the midsize and smaller airlines who can't afford to develop their own interline solutions."
Harteveldt said developing the IET hub is a smart move for Sabre because the system is based on web services.
"It's basically write once, use often," he said. "So it's an extremely cost-effective solution for Sabre to develop. It's the type of thing that even a major airline like American Airlines or British Airways or Air France could, potentially, evaluate ... and say, 'Yes, we've already developed the links with our primary alliance partners or other key airlines. But this lets us do potentially interline e-ticketing with airlines that right now can't afford these other solutions.' "
Sabre Airline Solutions is part of travel e-commerce firm Sabre Holdings.
Linda Rosencrance writes for Computerworld