The modern travel industry was built upon Sabre as its foundation. In 1962, IBM computers were integrated with this revolutionary data processing program that maintained accurate information on passengers in real time and was used by travel agents around the world. Previously, centralized reservation centers required groups of people using paper to track individual travelers. Today, Sabre’s durable influence on the world extends beyond travel, to nearly all transaction technology.
By air and rail: the Galileo travel system
In 1985, a consortium of European airlines—including Aer Lingus, Alitalia, Austrian Airlines, British Airways, KLM, Olympic Airways, Sabena, Swissair, TAP Air Portugal and Covia—formed under the aegis of the Galileo travel system (built by IBM and modeled on Sabre). The consortium provided a significant transfer of IBM technology into the air and rail systems throughout Western Europe, and eventually into select Eastern Europe and Balkan markets, as well as parts of Asia.
Sabre Holdings Today
American Airlines went on to create Sabre Holdings to provide technology solutions to the travel industry. Today, Sabre Holdings is one of the leading travel technology companies in the world with an expansive range of solutions touching almost every travel company actively doing business. The passenger reservations system originally built for American Airlines has evolved many time over and today, the SabreSonic Customer Sales and Service (CSS) solution is recognized as the industry’s first reservations system to combine customer-focused solutions with revenue generation. It is the system of choice for many airlines including LAN Airlines, Aeroflot, JetBlue, WestJet, AeroMexico, Volaris and Kingfisher just to name a few.
The company also offers the most extensive range of technology solutions for airlines—from revenue management to crew scheduling, to consulting—and has recently made a number of acquisitions to complete its airline solutions portfolio.
Most recently, Sabre was used in the Italian national railway system, and will soon be implemented alongside other IBM solutions by the Chinese national railway system.
The Sabre Holdings’ businesses include Travelocity, Sabre Travel Network, Sabre Airline Solutions and Sabre Hospitality Solutions.
Extending into non-travel transactions
Sabre was also the foundation for the IBM ® Transaction Processing Facility (TPF), which developed sales processing solutions, especially in the travel and finance industries. In 2001, TPF-based travel systems processed an estimated 93 percent of worldwide airline bookings, the great majority of which are made through the Internet. These systems also processed several hundred million hotel, car rental, railroad and other related reservations. Moreover, TPF has extended beyond airlines to areas such as credit authorization and verification, police car dispatching, electronic funds transfer switching and loan payment processing.