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Airline software giant ends distribution service with Russia’s Aeroflot, crippling carrier’s ability to sell seats

Aeroflot Russian Airlines and Rossiya Airlines jet aircrafts at Moscow-Sheremetyevo International Airport.

Leonid Faerberg | Lightrocket | Getty Images

Sabre Corp. on Thursday said it terminated a global distribution agreement with Russia’s Aeroflot, crippling the country’s largest airline’s ability to sell seats.

The Texas-based airline software giant provides ticket distribution and reservation services for carriers around the world. Sabre’s decision to end the distribution agreement means Aeroflot’s flights won’t show up on online travel agencies or other third-party sites.

Sabre competitor Amadeus IT Group followed suit in suspending Aeroflot fares from its distribution platforms.

“We will not sign any new contracts in Russia and we continue to evaluate our existing portfolio of work in Russia in parallel,” the Madrid-based company said in a statement. “At the same time, we continue to assess and evaluate the potential impact of international sanctions imposed on Russia and any counter-measures by Russia.”

Aeroflot didn’t immediately comment.

It is the latest measure that has isolated Russia’s airlines since the country invaded Ukraine last week.

Boeing, General Electric and other aerospace manufacturers have suspended parts distribution and service agreements with Russia as countries, led by the U.S. and European nations, impose sanctions in protest of Russia’s invasion. The U.S. and Europe have cut Russia’s access to their airspace.

“Sabre has been monitoring the evolving situation in Ukraine with increasing concern,” Sean Menke, Sabre’s CEO, said in a statement. “We are taking a stand against this military conflict. We are complying, and will continue to comply, with sanctions imposed against Russia.”

Sabre has a separate agreement with Aeroflot that allows the airline to book passengers on the SabreSonic platform on the airline’s website.

“The Company will continue to monitor the ongoing situation and will evaluate whether additional actions would be appropriate, taking into account legal considerations and any counter measures that could be implemented in response,” Sabre said.

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