How to leverage air travel insights in Hospitality

Air Insights by Sabre

Sabre Air Insights is a proof of concept that is being developed by Sabre Hospitality Solutions. It is targeted towards hotels that want insights into airline traffic coming into different cities within the next year. It will help identify increase and decrease in the flow of traffic in the near and distance future. This will allow hotels to compare their forward bookings with the airline expected traffic into the city to determine if they are getting their fair market share. It will help identify opportunities and issues and will assist in planning marketing, promotions, and pricing strategies. But the real value I found on this tool was to understand what the feed markets of a destination are, what is their value and how these feed markets have changed over time. The tool is very rich in information, but unfortunately, the dashboards are not very visual, and the information is hard to manipulate inside the application forcing you to export and analyze with other tools.

Data Provided

This is some of the valuable information that Sabre Air Insights provides:

  • Origin and destination of travelers (Travel Intent)
    Origin and Destination (O&D) data include all itinerary level information only from passengers whose travel of intent was the final destination itself. Any transient passenger is removed from these reports.
  • Leg (Just Traffic)
    Leg traffic is a measure of the total passengers flying between two points. In addition, to analyze the total passengers traveling between two points you can also look at the flow passengers who would have started behind the leg origin and flying beyond the leg destination. This data is great to measure airport traffic including arrival, departures and transient traffic for a particular airport.
  • Schedule & Capacity (Forecast)
    This information includes flights schedules and capacity of airlines for a destination in the future. This is the best way to identify the demand of a destination in the future as well as any spot changes in patterns ahead of time.

The data provided by Sabre goes back to 2002, which is more than enough to run historical reports and understand the nature of businesses of a destination. The Data before October 2010 is preliminary, no final, so I assume this data wasn’t audited like the data from October 2010 forward.

The preliminary data is available relatively soon (forty-five days after closing month), but final data is available four months after closing month. Although this could be considered slow, it is, in fact, the fastest reporting dataset of this type on the industry.

Do I recommend to use Air Insights by Sabre?

I definitely recommend using this tool. The tool is not fully personalized for hotels yet, but Sabre is making some progress on incorporating new features that could be very useful for hotels and management companies. In fact, when reviewing the tool a couple of new features were added to the dashboard. One of them was alerts that will allow users to spot any changes in demand for future air bookings. This is something we definitely can use for hoteliers in any destination.

This tool includes 60% of the flights to any destination in the world going back to 2002, this information will provide a good amount of information regarding seasonality of any tourist destination, as well as booking patterns and main audiences. This is information that hotel chains have to some degree, but the advantage of Sabre is that includes all passengers to a destination and not only the ones traveling to a specific hotel brand.

To explore the potential of this data and using Orlando as a destination I created  this visualization that demonstrate how this tool can be used to obtain travel demand information for any market and how valuable that can be. More details about this report I created are included at the end of this article.

Where the Data Comes From?

Sabre utilizes more than 50 sources of information to create global demand data. Here below some of these sources and their origin.

  • The main data used is Market Information Data Tapes (MIDT) that contains information from IATA and Non-IATA agencies. Data is provided by 10 GDS’s (Global Distribution System) such as Amadeus, Abacus, Axess, Infini, Sabre, Topas, Travelsky, Travelport (Apollo, Galileo, Wordspan). This raw data is at the transaction level in the form of PNR (Passenger Name Record).

Additional data is used for calibration purposes. This data is:

  • Sabre fare data
  • Third party vendors like Innovata-Schedules, RATY, QL2
  • Government data from agencies such as AAI, UKCAA or DOT
  • Industry associations, web scraping.
  • Financial reports from Airlines
  • Estimates for passengers booked outside GDS

Data captured is about 60% of global bookings which is an excellent base for any analysis.

Definitions

Here below some definitions and concepts that can be found in Sabre AirVision Market Intelligence. For hoteliers that are not familiar with the air travel industry, these are important terms to grasp before getting into any data analysis.

Global Demand Dataset (GDD)

Global data information including:

  • Market Size
  • Route Performance
  • Traffic Slows
  • Fares

Origin & Destination (O&D)

Origin and destination of flights from all markets around the world. This is information of how a passenger got from point A to B regardless how they got there, including through flights, connections, non-stop or direct flights. The difference between a non-stop flight and a direct flight is that a non-stop flight goes directly from the origin to the destination, but a direct flight even though may seem like a direct flight, they have a stop in between but on the same flight.

LEG

Leg refers to origin and destination of a sector served by a nonstop flight. It doesn’t take into account origin of the passengers if they took a connection flight, it just accounts for the last non-stop flight before reaching the destination. It strictly measures air traffic between one or more origins to a destination including only non-stop flights. In other words, LEG reads a single airport perspective (HUB). A single airport perspective measures total inbound passengers, total outbound passengers, and connecting passengers.

PPDEW

It means passengers per day each way.

Revenues

Base revenue doesn’t include taxes and surcharges, total revenue includes taxes and surcharges.

Types of Passengers

  • Bridge Passengers
    They use a leg as a bridge, but the origin and the destination are not on that leg
  • Local Passenger
    True origin and true destination is the same
  • Beyond Passenger
    The leg takes place before the final destination of the passenger, in other words, the passenger final destination is beyond the leg analyzed
  • Behind Passenger
    The leg takes place after the origin of the passenger. In other words, the origin of the travel is behind the leg being analyzed.

Breakdown of Origin and Destination groups

  • For international flights
    If a passenger stays more than 24 hours on an intermedia city between origin and destination, this itinerary gets broken into two. It is assumed that the passenger had a reason to travel to the intermedia city.
  • For domestic flights
    An itinerary is broken into two groups is the traveler stays on an intermedia city for more than six hours.

Assignment of carried

On flights that involve different carriers, the carrier that flies the longest leg is the one assigned to the trip.

What can be use it?

In general, these are all the different ways we can use this tool

  • Demand Forecast (Important for source markets)
  • Alerts to catch variations in passenger traffic
  • Historic information going back to 2002 (Origin & Demand)
  • Point of sale trends (to identify where our customers are)
  • Airport traffic demand (great for airport hotels)

The information in Sabre is rich but it is not easily accessible due to the way it is presented and organized. Using information available for Orlando I created a series of dashboards that present the information in a different way. Here below a list of these dashboards and what they do. The live demo can be seen here.

Passengers and fares per year
How many passengers fly to Orlando International Airport (MC0) since 2010 and how the volume has changed over time. How have fares evolved over time? Are they increasing or decreasing?

01 Orlando Passengers Per Year

Domestic and International fares by feed market
An analysis of International and domestic fares, and price variances between all different feed markets.

02 International and Domestic airfares for Orlando

Feed markets share
The purpose of this dashboard is to understand what the main feed markets are and how the market share of these markets have evolved over time.
03 Tourist feed countries to Orlando

Growing and declining international markets
The purpose of this dashboard is to understand what top international markets for Orlando are growing and which ones are declining. This will help to understand where the next market opportunity will come from.

04 International tourist share to Orlando

Growing and declining domestic markets
The purpose of this dashboard is to understand what top domestic markets for Orlando are growing and which ones are declining. This will help to understand where the next market opportunity will come from.

05 Domestic tourist share to Orlando

Airlines Insights
The purpose of this dashboard is to understand the airlines that bring most passengers to Orlando, what are their fares, what is the market share and how it has changed over time.

06 Main airlines flying to Orlando

Cabin Class Insights
The purpose of this dashboard is to understand what cabin class is the most popular one (business, discount coach, first class, premium class) and which airline is responsible for bringing the majority of these passengers.

07 Air passengers to Orlando by cabin class

To find more about Sabre Air Vision visit this page

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