Monday, March 16, 2009

Sabre Edges Past Travelport in Market Share

Sabre, the company that owns Travelocity, went private in 2007 so all those stats that journalists and analysts love to crunch were MIA (as in Missing In Action) over the last two years, until March 5 when the Southlake, Texas, company released its fourth quarter and full-year 2008 earnings report and accompanying data.
Sabre lost a bunch of money for the year, but a review of the stats shows that it actually gained global market share, surpassing Travelport GDS (i.e. Galileo and Worldspan.)
In a declining travel market, the Sabre global distribution system (GDS) crunched 383 million transactions in 2008, 3 percent fewer than in 2007. But Travelport's segments fell faster, 11 percent, to 372.1 million. Of course, it is possible that Amadeus may have processed even more segments than Sabre. It's hard to say because Amadeus is a private company and hasn't publicized its numbers. It also counts transactions differently than Sabre and Travelport do.
So, how did Sabre overtake Travelport? Methinks that one major factor is that Expedia swapped out longtime partner Worldspan in favor of Sabre as Expedia's primary res system. And, all of those bookings definitely add up.
You have to love the travel industry. Expedia helps Travelocity's owner, Sabre, overtake Travelport, which controls Orbitz. So many plot twists:)


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