Gulf Air, the national carrier of the Kingdom of Bahrain, has, in collaboration with travel technology company Sabre Travel Network Middle East (Sabre or STNME), launched a new service for travel agents in the Iraq market. “Direct Ticketing”, a service offered within the Sabre system, allows Gulf Air authorized travel agents in point-of-sale locations throughout Iraq to offer local ticketing services for their customers. A series of workshops covering this latest technology in reservations and ticketing, will equip travel agency employees with additional skills to expand Gulf Air ticketing services throughout this growing Middle East market.
Gulf Air’s Country Manager to Iraq, Mr. Ahmed Ali Hajee, commented: “Our collaboration with Sabre reinforces Gulf Air’s commitment to investing in all aspects of its customer experience both in the air and on the ground. This project will ensure wider distribution in major cities across Iraq, and help streamline the passenger booking experience, saving our customers valuable time.”
This initiative highlights the importance of travel technology in advancing the industry, and its role in shaping the future of the travel experience before, during and post trip. With over twelve months of preparation and planning behind the implementation of this innovative solution, Gulf Air and Sabre recently held two reservation and ticketing training courses for the airline’s Iraq travel agency partners in Beirut and Najaf respectively, covering large sub-agents in Alforat Al Awsat.
“The release of Direct Ticketing in Iraq represents a great partnership between Gulf Air and Sabre in this vast & expanding market. We are excited to see the retail travel distribution options for travel agencies and consumers alike expand through this creative alliance” says Darren Wickham, Managing Director at Sabre Travel Network.
Iraq is an important market for Gulf Air ever since flights to Al Najaf and Baghdad in Iraq began in September 2012. It is the first carrier in Iraq to offer Point of Sale ticketing through the Sabre Global Distribution System backed by a robust skills training programme. Currently Gulf Air operates two weekly flights between Baghdad and Bahrain and eight weekly flights between Al Najaf and Bahrain providing excellent connectivity via Bahrain to key MENA, Europe and Asia destinations across the airline’s network.
Sabre operates the world’s largest travel marketplace, the Sabre global distribution system (GDS). Used by approximately 350,000 agents in 130 countries, tens of millions of corporate travellers and hundreds of millions of consumers, the GDS links travel agencies with more than 400 airlines, 100,000 hotels, 25 car rental brands, 14 cruise lines – enabling them to create unforgettable experiences for travellers and fuel our industry.