Technology For Productivity (Travel Agencies) Technology For Productivity (Travel Agencies)

Airlines adapt to dynamic operating conditions
with Sabre Movement Manager

COVID-19 challenges:

The coronavirus pandemic has had a detrimental impact on the air travel industry, requiring carriers to manage staggering numbers of flight cancellations and schedule changes.

Many airlines use solutions such as Sabre’s Movement Manager to adapt to dynamic conditions and to ensure active operations are running as efficiently and safely as possible.

Below are four key challenges airline operations teams faced as a result of COVID-19:

  1. Processing numerous schedule changes, aircraft swaps, and flight cancellations: As airlines were forced to swiftly adjust and scale down flight operations, their teams were challenged with implementing large-scale changes across the operation.

  2. Repositioning large numbers of aircraft: As airlines reduced capacity, they placed many aircraft in short- and long-term storage. Ops controllers had to ensure all aircraft arrived at the appropriate destination – for storage or for continued use.

  3. Complying with dynamic, country-specific guidelines: As countries begin to slowly come out of lockdown, travel restrictions are evolving at a rapid pace. Airlines must monitor and comply with the varying regulations for each country in which they operate.

  4. Communicating real-time schedule changes to other departments and to passengers: As airlines adapt to evolving market conditions, the ops control center is challenged with articulating ongoing updates across departments. This includes getting input on changes from affected groups such as dispatch, crew, the passenger desk, air traffic control, ground handling and more.

Operating efficiently with Sabre Movement Manager

Airlines such as Aeroflot, Aeromexico, Azul and Garuda work through operational challenges with the help of Sabre Movement Manager, a system that provides graphical monitoring of an airline’s operations, including real-time flight and aircraft status.


Aeroflot, one of Europe’s leading airlines and the top carrier in Russia, grounded nearly all international flights in late March due to the coronavirus outbreak, accounting for 60% of their overall traffic. The carrier worked closely with the Sabre team and used Movement Manager to implement the large-scale changes across their operation as efficiently as possible.

Aeroflot will also leverage Sabre Network Planning & Scheduling solutions and professional services to optimize the rebuilding of their network as demand returns – particularly as Russia plans to resume international travel in Q3 2020.

“Sabre’s solutions and ultra-engagement allowed us to quickly optimize our operation in response to this difficult situation. Sabre has been a key partner for us for several years, and we look forward to continued partnership as we begin to resume our operation.” - Kirill Bogdanov, CIO of Aeroflot


Aeromexico, Mexico’s global airline carrier, processed 5,500 flight cancellations and 100,000 minutes worth of flight delays from March to May due to the pandemic.

Movement Manager helped the airline apply and communicate these changes across its operation in addition to the grounding of part of its fleet. The solution also keeps 500+ employees across the carrier’s hub and outstations up-to-date on the latest operational plans to ensure passengers, aircraft, and crew arrive to their destinations as efficiently as possible.

“Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, we have had many changes in our flight schedules, and it was pivotal to act promptly to offer our clients solutions and certainty. For Aeromexico, the latter is a priority and a commitment; that is why we are thankful to have a business partner like Sabre that offered us efficient technological tools like the Movement Manager during this challenging time.” - Agustin Zarza, Director Strategic Coordination Center CCE, Flight Dispatch Aeromexico and Aeromexico Connect

Azul Brazilian Airlines

Azul Brazilian Airlines, one of the fast-growing airlines in the world, operated 950 daily flights to 116 cities before COVID-19. They responded swiftly to changes in demand, scaling down to 115 daily flights to 38 cities by May. Movement Manager helped their operations control center scale down flight operations and coordinate across all operational departments – all while teams operated remotely.

“We made the decision to protect our team by moving our OCC to a remote, home office format. Sabre solutions including Movement Manager helped us maintain the same level of quality in our operations while employees were connected from their home. Having all systems integrated across schedule, movement and crew management helped make this happen without any issue.

We changed our crew and network schedule publication from 30 days to 7 days in advance, giving us flexibility to manage through this terrible crisis, and Sabre’s platform played a major role in the success of this change.”
- Daniel Tkacz, OCC Director, Azul

Garuda Indonesia

Garuda Indonesia, the national flag carrier of Indonesia, grounded 70% of aircraft during the outbreak period. Due to cuts in flight traffic caused by the pandemic, the airline cancelled up to 90% of flights in one month within Movement Manager.

Garuda adapted to the changing landscape by launching an app-based courier service with PT Aerojasa Cargo to develop its cargo business. Movement Manager now helps airline employees see which flights are cargo vs. passenger, making it easier to understand the operational landscape and to make efficient, yet accurate adjustments.

“The COVID-19 pandemic situation requires us to be adaptive especially in adjusting our dynamic flight operations. The Sabre platform helps us to cohesively manage flight operations in this dynamic environment.”