Orbitz Worldwide obviously caved on this one and couldn't afford to see American Airlines, and now US Airways, flights go missing on Orbitz sites for six months, as happened during the contract impasse a couple of years ago.
Orbitz Worldwide announced that it reached an agreement with American Airlines Group to get American Airllnes flights back on all of Orbitz’s consumer sites, and it thus headed off the prospect of losing US Airways’ flights starting on Labor Day, September 1.
“I suspect Orbitz saw its traffic fall enough during the past few days that it realized it could not be a competitive online travel retailer without the largest U.S. carrier on its shelves,” said Henry Harteveldt of Atmosphere Research Group. “No doubt Orbitz’s plummeting stock price also contributed to its decision.”
The agreement, though, is tentative in nature and actually was a letter of intent, according to American Airlines Group.
“The companies are working toward final agreements based on the letter of intent,” American Airlines Group stated.
As the three-day holiday weekend got under way in the U.S., American Airlines flights were back on the Orbitz Worldwide sites.
“We are pleased that our long-standing relationship with American Airlines allowed us to quickly resolve business matters and that we continue to offer a broad range of options, including American Airlines and US Airways flights, to the millions of shoppers who book travel on our global sites each day,” said Sam Fulton, president of Orbitz.com.
American Airlines had removed its flight from Orbitz Worldwide consumer sites on August 26, citing the need for an agreement that would enable American Airlines and sister airline US Airways to compete against the spectrum of legacy and low cost airlines. US Airways had been poised to remove its flights from Orbitz Worldwide sites on September 1.
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Photo credit: The tail sections of an American Airlines and US Airways aircraft are on the ramp at Dallas-Ft Worth International Airport Mike Stone / Reuters