Sabre AirVision to support China Eastern expansion
SHANGHAI, March 4, 2010 - Riding on a wave of positive news and aggressive expansion plans, China Eastern Airlines (CEA) has signed a multi-million dollar deal with Sabre to provide its Sabre AirVision Network planning & scheduling solutions to the airline.
Shanghai-based CEA, one of China’s largest airlines, recently gained approval for the acquisition of Shanghai Airlines, and also announced a new purchase order of 16 Airbus A330 to feed its international expansion plans.
“With a large-scale expansion ahead of us, it is critical for us to support it with the right systems and processes. The pending merger of Shanghai Airlines into our family also means that fleet planning, slot and capacity allocation are areas that need to be addressed immediately. Sabre has demonstrated to us that its network planning solutions will help us maximise our resources and allow us to make smart decisions with regards to our fleet and slot resources,” said Chen Xin, China Eastern’s executive vice chairman, Commercial Committee.
In addition to its takeover of Shanghai Airlines, CEA has also signed a firm order of 16 Airbus A330s to be delivered between 2011 and 2014. These new planes will be used mainly on routes to Europe, the US and Australia. While facing fierce competition in the domestic network, CEA is bullish about its international plans.
“The industry has long had its eyes on China’s burgeoning aviation scene - China Eastern’s aggressive expansion plans are, therefore, of no surprise. What is critical now for Chinese carriers is to ensure their growth plans are matched with efficient operations planning. With the volumes they are expected to handle, a one percent increase in revenues or one percent cost savings can amount to a lot. Having worked with several other large airlines in China before, we are confident Sabre will make a significant impact on China Eastern’s operations through this expansion path,” said David Chambers, Sabre Airline Solutions’ regional vice president Asia Pacific.
“We are definitely excited about being part of this vibrant aviation scene. Sabre’s planning and scheduling solutions suite is now used in part or in whole by four major airlines in China and we will be establishing more resources in this part of the world to support these customers. With over 100 customers around the world, Sabre continues to be recognised as the market leader in this area of airline planning and operations.” added Chambers.
CEA was established in June 1988 and has been growing rapidly for 18 years. In 1997, it successfully completed its share reform and was listed in Shanghai, Hong Kong and New York Securities Exchanges. CEA operates over 80 international and regional routes, over 330 domestic routes, which connect 110 cities in China and aboard. CEA has 35,000 employees, 200 large-to-medium sized modern jets, comprising A340-600, A340-300, A330, A320 series, B767 and B737 series.