Illinois appeals court upholds Orbitz's right to sell AA tickets

By Johanna Jainchill
An Illinois court yesterday upheld Orbitz.com's right to sell American Airlines tickets, as the airline lost an injunction appeal against Travelport, Orbitz's parent company.

An Illinois circuit court in June had ruled in favor of Travelport's request for injunctive relief against American, which had pulled its content from Orbitz and Orbitz for Business in December 2010.

Yesterday, the appellate court denied American's appeal. Travelport said the court also recognized the company's position that the American contract allows all Travelport agents to fully utilize the carrier's content and added that the court said American had breached the parties' contract.

"We are very pleased with the appellate court's recognition of our contractual rights," Travelport's chief legal officer, Eric Bock, said in a statement. "Those rights are critical to protecting our agencies' ability to have and fully use AA's content."

"We are disappointed by the Illinois court decision and are evaluating our options," said American spokesman Ryan Mikolasik. "In the meantime, the injunction issued against American terminated by its own terms on Sept. 1. We have a new interim agreement with Travelport that provides for our continued participation in Orbitz, and we do not expect that to change in the near term."

Travelport said it would continue to pursue its claims against American before the trial court but In the meantime would continue to work constructively with the airline so that "consumers, corporations and travel agents continue to benefit from the most transparent travel booking processes possible."
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