Sabre indicates 'modest' recovery signs but air bookings still slammed

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"The environment remains uncertain, with reductions in airline capacity and a volatile macro environment," Sabre said in an unscheduled update to investors this week.

The notice issued by the travel technology and distribution giant says that bookings remained "severely depressed" during April and May but it witnessed modest signs of an initial recovery.

Gross air bookings, passengers boarded and hotel reservations were down around 90% year-over-year, it said.

This month has seen continued slow indications of a recovery but in the three weeks to June 22 the number of passengers board and gross air bookings are still 85% of what they were in the same period in 2019.

Hotel reservations are down 60% year-over-year.

The statement said: "This modest improvement has been led by our largest region, North America, which has outpaced the other regions of the world, including Europe. This recovery has largely been led by leisure travel."

This week's update follows a series of negative headlines for the business over the course of the last six weeks.

In mid-May it emerged Lufthansa Group airlines would be pulled from the Sabre distribution system from the end of June.

The group, which includes Lufthansa, Brussels Airlines and Austrian Airlines, notified travel agents by email of the termination, which also affected those connected to Abacus, which Sabre bought in 2015.

Sabre it was "working diligently" with the Lufthansa Group to renew the distribution agreement.

This followed news that Sabre would pull out of an existing plan to acquire NDC-led merchandizing platform Farelogix, first announced in November 2018 and for $360 million.

Farelogix has since been snapped up by Spain-based Accelya.

Source: PhocusWire

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