In the latest volley in the distribution wars, a court ordered American Airlines to resume providing content to Orbitz after a six-month hiatus. Travelport, which also owns Orbitz, won an injunction in the Circuit Court in Cooks County, Illinois, forcing the airline to reverse its action imposed on 11-Dec-2010 and overturning its initial ruling of 21-Dec-2011.
In last Wednesday’s ruling, the court acknowledged it erred in not granting the injunction last December, which would have prevented the airline from terminating its contracts with Orbitz, according to a statement released by Travelport. The ruling capped off a day of charges and countercharges in the intense distribution war but by close of business Thursday, American’s flights had been restored to the online travel agency.
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The GDS also noted the court’s finding that Travelport also demonstrated that it had a likelihood of success on the merits of its complaints against the airline.
"Travelport is delighted with the Court's ruling requiring AA's fares to be reinstated on Orbitz and enabling consumers to book AA tickets through Orbitz,” said Chief Commercial Officer Kurt Ekert. “We view this as a significant ruling."
For its part, the airline released a statement after the ruling which came down late Wednesday afternoon.
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"We just received the court's order, and we fundamentally disagree with its conclusion,” American said late Wednesday. “We want to underscore that this is the exact opposite conclusion than that of the judge who heard the evidence. We are evaluating our options, but in the meantime, we will, of course, comply with the judge's order."
The GDS added it is continuing to work with American to reach a new agreement.