EmQuest: Travel Distribution in the Digital Era
EmQuest, Emirates Group's travel distribution company, must decide what to do with its contract with the global distribution system it uses, Sabre. Since its founding in 1988, EmQuest was servicing travel agents in the MENA region by providing a connection to over 400 airlines as well as numerous other travel suppliers. EmQuest mainly relied on Sabre to provide this service to the agents, and its contract was coming to an end. In the last ten years, since the beginning of EmQuest's Sabre contract, while EmQuest grew, a lot happened in the travel industry: the Internet transformed customer habits, low-cost carriers emerged, and the Middle East experienced a boom in tourism. The conditions under which EmQuest had first signed its contract with Sabre a decade before were much different in 2017. With change happening so rapidly and impacting the fundamentals of the travel business model so dramatically, it was a real challenge to predict where the industry would be in the next decade. Yet the management needed to make a decision regarding the Sabre contract in 2017, amidst such a whirlwind in the market.