Sabre drags Air India to Delhi HC, alleges favouritism in tender process

by Joseph K. Clark

The bench also said any decision taken in this regard will be subject to the final outcome of the petition. US-based technology solutions provider Sabre GLBL has moved the Delhi High Court challenging Air India’s decision to appoint its rival Amadeus IT Group as the service provider for its integrated passenger services systems (PSS).

A bench led by Justice C Hari Shankar sought a response from Air India and Amadeus on the petition filed by Sabre, which alleges that fairness and transparency were wholly lacking in the entire process of the tender.

The bench also said any decision taken in this regard will be subject to the final outcome of the petition. The judges said there is no universal law that the lowest bidder will be selected during the hearing.

tender process

Senior counsel Sandeep Sethi, appearing for Sabre, argued that Air India failed to consider that it could have saved around `900 crore from Sabre’s “most attractive, competitive, and compliant bid”.

He said that without disclosing the scores of the technical bids, the carrier opened the financial bids on May 24 and selected Amadeus — which had quoted a price almost 47% higher than Sabre’s quote — as the successful bidder.

Senior counsel Dayan Krishnan and Rajiv Nayyar, appearing for Air India and Amadeus, respectively, opposed the petition, saying that once Sabre participated in the tender, it could not have challenged the tender terms. Air India also said Amadeus’s score in the technical bid was much higher than that of Sabre.

PSS automates all primary passenger service functions, including shopping, reservation, ticketing, check-in, seat assignment, and ancillary service sales for airlines.

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