After raising $1.1 billion in capital and cutting costs by $325 million, Sabre has achieved liquidity that will last more than one-and-a-half years, CEO Sean Menke said during the company's earnings call May 8. That length of time factors in a "zero-bookings, no-travel scenario," the CEO said.

Sabre reported first-quarter revenue of $659 million, down 37.2% from nearly $1.05 billion in Q1 2019, due to reductions in travel bookings driven by the coronavirus pandemic.

It recorded a loss of $151 million in the first quarter, compared with operating income of $110 million in Q1 2019.

Since the impact of Covid-19 began, Sabre has undertaken a number of cost-cutting measures, ranging from pay reductions to furloughing one-third of its global workforce.

Menke said the peak of cancellation activity appears to have been in late March. Since then, new air bookings have declined to fewer than 100,000 daily. That represents a decline of more than 90% compared with pre-Covid-19 daily bookings, which averaged 1.5 million.

"As of mid-April, we believe we have seen a normalization in cancellation rates," Menke said. "We believe we have flushed out most of the cancellation activity with respect to previously made bookings. Although new bookings remain severely depressed, net bookings activity improved in April versus the end of March."

According to Menke, Sabre's new air bookings declined by 8% in January, 17% in February and 70% in March. Including the impact of cancellations, air bookings fell 9% in January, 23% in February and 111% in March.

"Ultimately, we expect a smaller travel market for some time and are positioning Sabre for this new reality," Menke said. "We are confident the strength of our liquidity position, flexible cost structure, longstanding customer relationships and experienced management team will allow Sabre to endure this period of prolonged uncertainty."

Sabre stock was down 7% Friday morning following the earnings call.


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