Virgin Australia expands Sabre software deal

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Virgin Australia expands Sabre software deal

Despite 2013 global outage.

Airline Virgin Australia has renewed its deal with travel software specialist Sabre two years after migrating to its check-in and reservation system, and expanded the partnership to include a number of new applications.

The US vendor announced it had “widened the scope of the relationship” with the Australian branch of Virgin’s flight business late last week. No value for the contract was provided.

Under the renewed arrangement, Virgin Australia will gain access to a mobile version of the solution, personalisation capabilities and online shopping capabilities through Sabre’s customer data hub, customer experience manager and dynamic retailer products, Sabre said.

Virgin Australia CIO Lawrie Turner - who is himself a former Sabre executive - said in a statement the partnership would aim to provide a "seamless, world-class customer experience across all international and domestic markets”.

The deal’s expansion comes despite an embarrassing global outage that hit a number of airlines using the Sabre system across the world in August 2013, just eight months after Virgin Australia successfully switched on the new system.

For several hours, Virgin Australia staff were forced to hand-write and process passenger check-ins while they waited for the system to resume.

However, the 2013 systems failure still paled in comparison to a 2010 weekend outage of Virgin's former booking system Navitaire, which reportedly forced it to cancel 116 flights.

Virgin Australia announced in early 2012 it would migrate onto Sabre as part of a systems rationalisation, dumping the Navitaire and Amadeus suites used by two separate areas of the business. 

The $36 million installation went live in January 2013.

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