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T2RL is one of the leading analysts of the market for airline IT services.  Documents in this section represent our insight into the underlying trends and expectations behind the data.  They are available for subscribers to download but remain proprietary to T2RL.  You may not publish or circulate any part of these documents without express written permission from T2RL. 

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Sabre have announced a 10 year partnership with Google Cloud. Whilst the press release provides very limited information, T2RL see this as a positive step for Sabre for a number of reasons. The first is that Google are deadly serious about taking a share of the enterprise IT business. The appointment of Thomas Kurian a 22 year veteran of Oracle and the assembly of a world class sales team confirm that Google are in this business to take a significant share. The second is that Google, according to T2RL's own research are very willing to provide significant and competent technical resources to support Sabre's transformation and system modernisation such that cloud consumption increases over time. The timing is very good for Sabre in their re-engineering programme. T2RL see this as part of Dave Shirk's strategy to deliver on the next generation solutions for both PSS and GDS.
22 January 2020

Air Canada has completed its migration to the Amadeus Reservation, Inventory, Ticketing and Fare Quote systems. The migration, which took just over two years to prepare and complete, also includes the migration of subsidiary airlines Air Canada Jazz and Air Canada Rouge. This equates to a total of 50.9 million passengers moving from an In-House Mainframe system and increasing the Amadeus market share to 28.5%. The Departure Control System migration will follow in March/April 2020.
20 November 2019

Sabre have announced they have acquired Radixx for approximately $110 million. With the purchase Sabre have added over 35 million pbs and over 30 additional airline customers predominantly in the LCC space bringing their total market share to 17% of the global market and 5th in the LCC market. The acquisition follows the appointment of ex-Sabre SVP John Elieson as Radixx President and CEO in 2017. Sabre plans to operate Orlando based Radixx as a standalone subsidiary through its Airline Solutions business.
16 October 2019

Aeromexico have renewed and extended their PSS and GDS agreements with Sabre. T2RL supported the process on behalf of Aeromexico and are therefore unable to provide any additional insight or commentary.
14 October 2019

On October 2nd 2019 AXESS informed customers they would be closing down their GDS business. The implications for those airlines distributing in Japan are significant. Simply put costs are likely to increase as they did when Sabre took over airline majority owned Abacus. The cost increase will be directly proportional to the change in market shares of the respective GDSs operating in Japan.
03 October 2019

The Thomas Cook Group PLC announced on 23rd September that it has gone into liquidation putting 21,000 jobs at risk, 9,000 of which are based in the UK. The UK government has chartered 45 jets making it the largest ever peacetime repatriation, and temporarily, the UK's 5th largest airline.

According to T2RL data the UK is the third largest market for PBs globally and Thomas Cook was the 2nd fastest growing airline (above 3 million PBs) in the UK for 2017-2018. Last year Thomas Cook Airlines and their subsidiary Thomas Cook Airlines Scandinavia together flew 10.5 million PBs making them the 2nd largest charter/scheduled airline in the T2RL database after TUI. The European charter/scheduled market is currently the largest in the world transporting a total of 102.84m PBs last year. Condor, Thomas Cook's German airline subsidiary (8m PBs) has stated that it will continue operations.

T2RL research shows that Tour Operators' share of PB sales has been steadily declining at a rate of -6% CAGR over the past ten years with a shift moving towards direct web bookings. T2RL estimate that the 10.5 million Thomas Cook PBs will be uptaken by TUI, Jet2, Easyjet, Ryanair, Wizz and other LCC/hybrid carriers with short-haul routes from the UK.

23 September 2019

The Department of Justice in the United States has sued to block the acquisition of Farelogix. The DOJ's complaint points to the likelihood of the acquisition resulting in a lessening of competition, an increase in prices for booking services in the United States and a reduction quality, service choice and innovation for booking services. The DOJ also takes the position that Sabre's GDS agreements have restricted Farelogix's ability to compete.

T2RL's view is that there is a broader market to consider in connection with the merger and that a combination of Sabre and Farelogix would permit Sabre to compete more effectively with Amadeus in the provision of IT solutions to airlines outside the United States in particular. Farelogix would provide the ability to replace some of the core technology that underpins the GDS and PSS infrastructure specifically accountable documents including ancillaries, real-time availability processing and commercialization of the schedule. Farelogix would accelerate Sabre's transformation to new generation systems.

At the core of the DOJ argument is a different definition of a market. T2RL does not understand how the DOJ came to assess booking, ticket issuance and the channel chosen by customers as distinct market places. To call out traditional agents and online agents and booking services in those channels as markets will undoubtedly be part of the upcoming dispute. Airlines ultimately appoint travel agents to issue tickets and the GDSs contract with travel agents to supply technology services. Other channels are available to consumers and corporations in the US and other geographies making this part of the argument a little more complex. The channels available to airlines (assuming they have the IT infrastructure to support this) include direct channels and APIs (NDC flavoured or not) and travel agents choose to work directly or indirectly with the airlines according to a set of their own criteria, including customers and passengers needs. It is also clear that some airlines can and have negotiated their GDS agreements which contain the right to charge fees and pass those fees on to the customer to incentivise them to move to the direct channels. This has certainly been the case in Europe with IAG's airlines, Lufthansa Group and Air France / KLM.

Elsewhere airlines are developing private channels which see incentives paid by airlines for bookings to the travel agent. There is no doubt that the market definition will be debated by both parties in the coming weeks and months as Sabre responds to the complaint and pushes to obtain a judgment to go ahead with the purchase. The exact timing of the litigation is not currently known, as the parties will be working on a protective order (i.e., determining what information will be kept from public court filings) and a timeline for the proceedings.

Typically the hearing before the judge in such cases is held within a 2 to 6 month time frame. If Sabre fail to win the battle there will be a long queue as others will seek to purchase Farelogix including a list of private equity houses.

22 August 2019

After years of participating at the lowest functional level in Sabre and Travelport GDSs, Southwest have announced new partnerships with new capabilities to support industry standard processes for TMCs and corporates with Amadeus and Travelport. The announcement highlights the importance of the corporate business by signalling incremental revenue expected in 2020 and a basic timeline for GDS readiness in mid-2020. Southwest Business are focussed on a set of customers that are likely to appreciate Southwest's policies with respect to no change fees and free bags. This complements the recent announcement for participation in NDC and of course builds on the decision to move to Amadeus PSS some years ago. T2RL see this announcement as a win for newly appointed CEO of Travelport Greg Webb and his team. The announcement will also reinforce the value of the GDS business at a time when there has been significant press around the continued demise of the GDS as a result of NDC. T2RL does not share the view that GDSs are end of life particularly given the importance of Amadeus, Sabre and Travelsky in provisioning the PSS solutions that support distribution and will be even more important when NDC receives broad adoption.
06 August 2019

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Amadeus and Optym have announced that the airline network planning business of Optym has been acquired by Amadeus. This First View looks at what this acquisition means for the industry.
17 February 2020

T2RL data show 34 airlines changed their PSS provision in 2019, together migrating the management of over two hundred million passengers boarded. T2RL analyse PSS Migration data for 2019, putting this into context with previous years and the vendors who have been the most and least successful over the past five years.
03 February 2020

On September 10, 2019, IBS Software announced that it had completed the acquisition of AD OPT. This First View looks at what this acquisition means for the industry.
25 November 2019

The annual Symposium from AGIFORS (Airline Group of the International Federation of Operational Research Societies) was held in Seattle, USA from September 30 to October 4, 2019. This First View looks at the presentations given at the forefront of tech research in the airline industry.
17 October 2019

T2RL attended the ATPCO 'Elevate' customer conference in Washington DC on October 1st and 2nd. In this First View T2RL looks at ATPCO's recent activity and why they are succeeding in their reinvention.
07 October 2019

T2RL has just released its projections for the passenger air transport market out to 2029. They show growth from 2018's 4.47 Billion passengers boarded to 6.06 Billion in 2023 and almost 9 Billion in ten years' time.
05 August 2019

In a briefing from Senior Management T2RL have learned that FLIGHTKEYS GmbH will soon launch its new Flight Planning solution, FLIGHTKEYS 5D, and announce launch customers. In this First View, T2RL assesses FLIGHTKEYS' new solution and the impact it may have on the industry.
26 June 2019

GE Aviation has been the global leader in commercial aircraft engine deliveries for many years. On 18-21 February 2019, it hosted a conference in Dallas, around the theme of using data to generate insights. In this First View, T2RL look at GE Aviation's strategy moving forward and how they plan to add value from insights obtained from data.
11 March 2019

Full reports are available for subscribers to download. Feel free to download the extracts which give an introduction and contents table of the full report.

Across the world in 2019, 22 new airlines were launched and 49 stopped flying. This report will examine the comings and goings in the industry in the year that has just ended, with comparisons to the previous years.
12 February 2020

T2RL data shows that the current market for airline loyalty members is roughly 25% of total global passengers boarded (PBs), being around 1.1 billion members in around 200 standard loyalty programmes. This report compares the market share of the major vendors in the airline loyalty market as well as the addressable market over the next ten years.
11 February 2020

T2RL and partners Travel in Motion (TiM) have produced a report on the current status of NDC and ONE Order including details of projects, vendors, sellers and solutions. The report is updated on a quarterly basis with the next update planned in April 2020.
04 February 2020

T2RL continues its research into the area of Dynamic Pricing by publishing a research paper on its findings into what airlines are actually doing in this area. What airlines are saying they will do or want to do, and the ability of the existing software to support these ambitions.
16 December 2019

T2RL's research highlights 3.9 billion passengers boarded in the market for airline revenue accounting systems. This report highlights migrations, the addressable market and key vendors by market share for 2019.
10 December 2019

NDC and ONE Order represent a new generation of technology for airline distribution, but they build on a long tradition of airlines working together to create standards that allow them to inter-operate to serve common customers. T2RL's latest research examines the need for standards in the industry. We look in some depth at the work that Amadeus, the leader in airline commercial technology, is putting into delivering the new standards to benefit the whole value chain in airline distribution.
25 November 2019

T2RL and partners Travel in Motion (TiM) have produced a report on the current status of IATA's new distribution capability (NDC) and ONE Order including details of projects, vendors, sellers and solutions. The report is updated on a quarterly basis with the next update planned in January 2020.
29 October 2019

The 2019 version of the T2RL annual report into the state of the market for Airline Passenger Services Systems is now in its eleventh year. This report covers all of the main activity in 2018 and the majority of 2019.
14 October 2019

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