Becoming One

Sabre Expands Across APAC With Abacus Acquisition

Earlier this year, Sabre completed its acquisition of Abacus International, the leading global distribution system (GDS) in the Asia/Pacific region.

After a 17-year-long technology partnership, Sabre has acquired Singapore-based Abacus from 11 Asian airlines.

The acquisition creates fresh investment and exciting growth opportunities for travel in Asia/Pacific. Abacus is already a trusted partner to more than 100,000 travel agents across Asia/Pacific’s 59 markets and is the only home-grown Asia/Pacific global distribution system (GDS), with both global and uniquely local airline relationships, including the leading portfolio of low-cost content and Chinese airline content.

With this acquisition, Abacus and Sabre will combine their global and regional capabilities to better serve customers in the region by bringing fresh innovations and opportunities for customers to grow, compete and differentiate even more in Asia/Pacific and beyond.

“The addition of Abacus further strengthens Sabre’s leading position in the fast-growing Asia/Pacific region,” said Sabre President and Chief Executive Officer Tom Klein. “Our ability to combine Sabre’s strong global technology platform capabilities with the deep local market expertise from Abacus will provide Asia/Pacific airlines, hospitality companies and travel agencies with unprecedented innovation and service options. It also makes us an ideal technology partner for global customers seeking to grow and expand in Asia/Pacific.”

Abacus will operate in the Sabre Travel Network business, and Sabre expects its expanded Asia/Pacific direct presence will further benefit airline customers of Sabre Airline Solutions. The technology company will also continue its partnership to provide technology services to INFINI, a local Japanese GDS.

Differentiation In Asia/Pacific

Abacus International, formed by Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific in 1988, helps airlines boost their bottom lines, maximize revenue, manage yield, manage costs and increase productivity. Becoming part of Sabre gives Abacus’ airline customers more options for new and differentiated products and services created specifically for the Asia/Pacific market.

“Sabre and Abacus have established the gold standard for service and content in the Asia/Pacific region, and that only gets better,” Klein said. “Together with Abacus, Sabre will provide customers and suppliers with improved and faster access to Sabre’s industry-leading innovations, including low-cost carrier content, ancillary capabilities, data analytics, and the latest in mobile solutions and personalization services. Additionally, airlines and travel agencies will have more options for new and differentiated products and services created specifically for customers in the Asia/Pacific market.”

The acquisition builds on Sabre’s 30-year presence and investment in Asia/Pacific, where it already serves 78 airlines and thousands of hotels throughout the region.

Abacus was formed 27 years ago when Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific entered an agreement to create a GDS that was more flexible and responsive to the unique needs of the Asian market. The new Asian GDS was operational within six months, and during the course of the next few years, All Nippon Airways, China Airlines, Dragonair, EVA Airways, Garuda Indonesia, Malaysian Airlines, Philippines Airlines, Royal Brunei Airlines and SilkAir joined the founding airlines as shareholder carriers in Abacus International.

By the late 1990s, Abacus led the market and in 1998, Sabre signed on as an Abacus joint-venture partner with a 35-percent equity interest.

Over the years, Abacus has pioneered many industry firsts, including the first GDS to launch a loyalty program to reward travel consultants, the first point-and-click interface point-of-sale solution, and the industry’s first customer-relationship-management system for travel agents.

Even beyond these accomplishments, perhaps Abacus’ greatest achievement has been its role in helping develop a robust, vibrant and connected travel industry in Asia.

The Sabre and Abacus combination will help airlines grow faster and deliver what travelers crave the most – a seamless, more personal travel experience.