Emirates and Sabre at an impasse over GDS services

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T0628EMIRATESA380_C_HR [Credit: Emirates]
An Emirates A380 with premium economy seats. Photo Credit: Emirates

The current GDS agreement between Emirates and Sabre is due to expire on July 1, and the parties have so far failed to reach a new deal.

In a statement Thursday, the airline said it had attempted to reach an agreement with Sabre for more than a year. Emirates said it sought similar terms to deals it had struck with other GDSs. 

"Unfortunately, an agreement could not be reached. We regret the inconvenience and disruption this will cause to our agency and corporate partners," the airline said. "Our teams are ready to support our agency and corporate partners and provide them with alternative channels to access Emirates' content. Emirates remains open to constructive and solution-oriented discussions with Sabre to find a path forward.

In a statement, Sabre said, "We are disappointed that Emirates is not committed to achieving a mutually favorable distribution deal. We will be persistent and continue to work towards a fair outcome that acknowledges the value that Sabre and our common customers provide to the airline. We value Emirates content in the Sabre GDS and believe this provides immense value to all parties in the ecosystem."

Sabre notified subscribers of the rift earlier this month, according to Travel Market Report.

Emirates' exit from Sabre would come on the same day that it launches an NDC-powered direct connect portal for travel agencies. Also on July 1, Emirates will implement a surcharge of $14 to $25 on bookings made through its remaining GDS partners, including Travelport and Amadeus, as it attempts to push agent sales to the new portal, which it has named Emirates Gateway.

Travel advisors will be able to access Emirates Gateway content through a direct connect or through the Emirates Partner Portal, the online gateway for the travel trade that the carrier introduced last August. 
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Tis report was updated on Thursday afternoon to add a quote from Sabre.

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