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The new “Airline Retailing Transition Guide” offers a flexible, phased approach to help airlines shift to a modern retailing experience. Using smarter, more efficient ways to organize and implement technology, airlines can transition smoothly and efficiently while maintaining business continuity.

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Today’s travelers want customizable options, greater pricing transparency, and more convenient ways to manage their travel plans. New demands for airline retailing have been influenced primarily by the speed, efficiency, and personalization they already get from other retail, e-commerce, and entertainment experiences.

Evolving customer expectations have created an urgency for airlines to rethink the effectiveness of their retail systems — and find ways to modernize them. To make this transition, airlines must invest in new technologies that allow them to adapt to ever-changing consumer demands while maintaining business continuity in their regular operations.

On the one hand, transforming an airline’s retailing systems and commercial operations is easier said than done. However, it’s more achievable with a clear transition plan. Sabre’s new “Airline Retailing Transition Guide” offers a flexible, phased approach to help airlines along the industry’s shift to modern retailing enabled by offers and orders.

Building a Modern Retail Experience

Offer-and-order retailing allows airlines to create, serve, and fulfill personalized offers that yield higher margins. It enables them to leverage real-time data to help grow revenue and reduce costs, in addition to creating new opportunities for partnerships that can expand the range of air and non-air products they can sell.

Amid staffing, pricing, and operational challenges due to factors like capacity constraints and aircraft delivery delays, a clear transition plan will help airlines establish smart, efficient ways to organize and implement complex technology migrations while increasing profitability — and without disrupting the customer experience.

“Airlines need to ask themselves, ‘What is my willingness to change the organization, to change the business processes?’” said Daniel Friedli, managing partner and director, Travel in Motion. “We don’t want to just recreate the complexity with the new technology. Opportunities to simplify must be identified and built into an airline’s transformation process.”

What’s in the Airline Retailing Transition Guide

  • The business case for change: Data show that transitioning to modern retailing can create a net value of $5 per passenger through the ability to create new types of offers, bundle them end-to-end across the customer experience, and manage costs.
  • Discover your own journey: A transformation this monumental will be unique to every company. What constitutes incremental change for each individual airline will be relative to the starting point, organizational complexity, business appetite, and desired goals.
  • A phased transition: The transformation to modern retailing is unlike anything the industry has undergone before, and it won’t happen overnight. The Airline Retailing Transition Guide lays out four phases: 1) Establishing readiness; 2) Building foundations; 3) Operating in a “hybrid” world; and 4) Reaching new heights.
  • A flexible and thoughtful approach: Since all airlines and partners will be engaging this transition at different paces in different stages, flexibility and interoperability between systems will be critical. Sabre’s approach to flexibility will allow airlines to adapt based on the readiness of individual components across their entire ecosystem, internal and external.

To learn more about Sabre’s new Airline Retailing Transition Guide, visit

This content was created collaboratively by Sabre and Skift’s branded content studio, SkiftX.

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Tags: airline retail, airlines, sabre, travel tech

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