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Sabre's (SABR) Wizz Air Deal to Benefit Airlines Solutions

Zacks Equity Research

Sabre Corporation SABR has been selected by European airline Wizz Air to support and enhance its network planning and scheduling technology.

Sabre’s intelligent planning and scheduling solutions, such as the Sabre AirVision Schedule Manager, is helping airlines to improve schedules across their networks and achieve up to 9% additional operating profit, and up to 12% growth in productivity.

Wizz Air is the 80th airline company to join Sabre’s portfolio, reflecting its position as a preferred technology partner among airlines companies.

Reportedly, Sabre’s AirVision Slot Manager and Schedule Manager will help Wizz Air to prevent the loss of valuable historic slot rights. Also, the technologies will improve productivity and response to rescheduling, which is key to operational efficiency improvement, revenue optimization and cost reduction.

Sabre Corporation Price and Consensus

Sabre Corporation Price and Consensus

Sabre Corporation price-consensus-chart | Sabre Corporation Quote

Wizz Air is the largest low-cost airline in Central and Eastern Europe, connecting 152 destinations across 44 countries. This makes it an important partnership for Sabre to augment growth.

Partnerships to Boost Airline Solutions Business

Sabre is banking on partnerships to enhance its Airlines segment. It is taking a collaborative approach to deliver next-generation retailing experience through its airline clients.

In November, Sabre inked a new content distribution agreement with Pakistan International Airlines. In the same month, the company also renewed its long-term distribution agreement with TAP Air Portugal.

Moreover, in June, the company announced that it has collaborated with marketing technology company, Cheetah Digital, to add loyalty management capabilities to its comprehensive offerings.

In the preceding month, Sabre announced a long-term agreement with Vietnam Airlines, which adopted the Sabre AirVision In-Flight solution. In the same month, the company also renewed its partnership with Polish carrier, LOT.

Moreover, in April, the company launched its first set of NDC APIs with United Airlines and next-generation shopping solutions, which are expected to be key growth drivers in the long haul.

Also, Delta Air Lines joined Sabre’s Beyond NDC program this March, and is working with the company on its newly-announced Next Generation Storefront.

Such initiatives helped Sabre become a certified IATA ONE Order Capable for air flight transaction as an order management system and delivery provider, making it the first passenger service system to receive this certification.

Efforts to Revive Airlines Solutions Segment

Sabre’s Airlines Solutions segment is going through turbulent times. The segment is expected to decline 2-4% year over year for full-year 2019.

In August this year, the company was sued by the U.S. Department of Justice, seeking to block the company's $360 million acquisition of Farelogix, an airline technology vendor. A lawsuit was filed, stating that Sabre’s acquisition of Farelogix will eliminate a strong contender that introduced new technology in the airlines industry.

However, the company came up with the surprise acquisition of Radixx to boost the Airlines Solutions segment.

With the Radixx buyout, Sabre has strengthened this business segment by expanding its presence to an actively growing segment of the airlines industry. Moreover, if Sabre wins the Farelogix case, the deal will boost its Airlines Solutions business further.

Zacks Rank and Key Picks

Sabre currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some top-ranked stocks in the broader technology sector are Keysight Technologies Inc. KEYS, Marchex, Inc. MCHX and Fortinet, Inc. FTNT. All the three stocks flaunt a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Long-term earnings growth rate for Keysight, Marchex and Fortinet is currently pegged at 9.1%, 15% and 14%, respectively.

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