Court orders AA to resume Orbitz fare listings

By Johanna Jainchill
American Airlines fares will be reinstated on Orbitz.com, after the Circuit Court of Cook County in Illinois ruled in favor of Travelport's request for injunctive relief against the airline, which pulled its content from Orbitz.com and Orbitz for Business in late December 2010.

The court ordered that AA's full schedule of flights be made available on both sites, effective immediately.

In a statement, Orbitz Worldwide called the reinstatement of AA's flights "a win for transparency, consumer choice and for all of our mutual customers. Orbitz continues to believe that it is in the best interests of both companies to work towards a long term agreement to continue distribution of American Airlines content to our millions of mutual customers."

The court entered an injunction against AA, overturning its prior ruling. The court said it had erred in its previous ruling, stating it should have issued an injunction in December against AA's removal of fares from Orbitz.

"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," stated Travelport COO Kurt Ekert. "We view this as a significant ruling."

In the December ruling against Travelport, the judge said that Travelport owned only 48% of Orbitz's stock, and as a shareholder did not have "standing to sue on behalf of Orbitz" even though Travelport said it was suing on its own behalf.

The court said Wednesday that it erred in previously ruling that Travelport did not have standing in the original court action "because Travelport is not suing on behalf of Orbitz."
 
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