As an airline at the forefront of innovation, South African carrier kulula.com is reinventing the airport experience for its customers, with the implementation of Sabre’s new Digital Workspace solution.
Digital Workspace, Sabre’s first completely cloud-based solution, will enable airport agents to deliver a seamless and personalized airport experience to customers. This solution equips agents with workflows that eliminate the traditional linear check-in procedure and improve agent productivity by up to 30 percent compared to current processes. This innovative new technology will be rolled out across all the airports that kulula.com serves, assisting more than 1,200 agents. Travelers on kulula.com can therefore expect shorter queuing times and enjoy a hassle-free check-in experience.
“Investing in new, digital technologies is crucial to our strategy, which centers around improving the travel experience for our passengers,” said Wrenelle Stander, executive director – Airline Division, kulula.com. “In today’s digital world, our customers expect a reimagined air travel experience, and Sabre’s digital technology will help us achieve our goal of becoming the most visionary and customer-centric carriers on the African continent. With Sabre’s Digital Workspace, we will transform the airport experience to be more seamless, more personalized and less stressful – moving us a step closer to a fully digital integrated operation.”
Digital Workspace is part of Sabre’s Commercial Platform, an innovative new solution that delivers end-to-end personalized retailing and enables airlines to successfully retail, distribute and fulfil across all customer touchpoints. Announced last year, the Sabre Commercial Platform is completely transforming airlines into intelligent digital entities – through advanced retailing, dynamic pricing, an open API hub, an ultra-fast shopping engine and a mobile, consumer-grade workspace for airport agents.
“Today’s digitally-savvy travelers are expecting a more seamless experience from their airlines,” said Sabre’s Dino Gelmetti, vice president, sales – Middle East and Africa. “Passing through the airport is traditionally one of the most stressful aspects of travel, so reducing queuing times and check points will make a huge difference for kulula.com’s customers. kulula.com is one of the most progressive airlines in Africa, and Sabre’s cutting-edge technology will enable it to differentiate itself within a highly competitive and challenging environment – improving efficiencies and creating an unrivaled customer experience.”
Investments in the Sabre Commercial Platform accelerate innovation beyond the core SabreSonic passenger service system to enable airlines to maximize revenue and deliver end-to-end personalized retailing.
Sabre Corporation is the leading technology provider to the global travel industry. Sabre’s software, data, mobile and distribution solutions are used by hundreds of airlines and thousands of hotel properties to manage critical operations, including passenger and guest reservations, revenue management, flight, network and crew management. Sabre also operates a leading global travel marketplace, which processes more than US$120 billion of global travel spend annually by connecting travel buyers and suppliers. Headquartered in Southlake, Texas, USA, Sabre serves customers in more than 160 countries around the world.
About Comair, which owns and operates kulula.com.
Managed and owned by South Africans through its listing on the JSE, Comair has operated successfully in this country since 1946. This proudly South African aviation and travel group comprises four business units:
Comair offers scheduled and non-scheduled airline services within South Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands, as its main business. The Group operates under its low-fare airline brand, kulula.com, as well as under the British Airways livery, as part of a license agreement. kulula.com is the market leader in affordable, easily accessible air travel and continues to grow in the cost-conscious business and leisure markets. It has become one of South Africa’s iconic consumer brands, while British Airways continues to grow in the corporate and public sectors, as well as in the inbound tourist markets.
Tourism and Hospitality
Comair’s catering service, Food Directions, originally launched to cater to the airline brands, now also provides a range of health and other food products to retailers. Its award-winning domestic and international SLOW Lounges have set the standards for airline hospitality in South Africa. The SLOW Lounge concept is based on the theme that time plays a significant part of life and the concept has been expanded to SLOW in the City, SLOW XS and The Course. Investment in technology to improve operational efficiency and offer innovative products to travel agencies and consumers has seen the Group become the country’s largest digital travel distribution network, covered under the Comair Travel brand.
The Comair Training Centre – originally founded in early 2000 to train the airline’s own flight and cabin crew – has grown considerably and now provides operational training for pilots and crew from other domestic and international airlines and even overseas air forces. Comair acquired EPT Aviation Training (Pty) Ltd and Global Training College South Africa (Pty) Ltd in 2017 with the primary objective to enhance its already formidable proposition, increasing its capacity for external commercial training of cabin crew, passenger handling, and travel and tourism training. It holds benefits for not only Comair, but the many young South Africans who envisage a career in aviation. Comair’s most recent acquisition is that of the leadership development consultancy company, Metaco Holdings (Pty) Limited. The acquisition fits well with Comair’s training business that already encompasses courses for pilots, cabin crew, ground operations staff and travel and tourism. Through Comair’s existing client base, it has identified the demand for leadership and team scoaching, and Metaco fits this requirement.
Aviation IT Solutions
In 2018, Comair entered into a joint venture with an IT company, Infinea SA Holdings (Pty) Ltd, establishing a jointly held company called Nacelle (Pty) Ltd. Nacelle is a service provider in aviation and related sectors, providing services such as IT operations and support, IT project deployment, process design and software development.
Comair is the only known airline to have achieved operating profits for 73 consecutive years, has a safety record which is internationally recognised and a level 2 B-BBEE recognition. Comair has independently been certified by the Top Employers Institute as one of the Top Employers South Africa 2019.
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