Travelport and American Airlines agree quick extension to distribution deal as talks continue
As American Airlines and Sabre (metaphorically) kind of kissed and made up yesterday in the courts, fellow distribution provider Travelport was also busy.
With deadlines looming, American Airlines and Travelport agreed late yesterday (Wednesday 31 October) to extend the current distribution agreement for agents using the Worldspan, Apollo and Galileo systems.
The pair, in a joint statement, also stated their commitment to negotiate a “new long-term agreement”.
Good news for Travelport-connected agents who would’ve found themselves without access to the carrier’s fares, schedules and availability as of this morning as the existing agreement was due to run out yesterday, according to correspondence sent to agents by Travelport earlier this week.
So the next 60 days will see more, no doubt intense talks going on behind the scenes as the extension put in place yesterday will expire on December 31 this year.
This is not the first time a deal has been arranged at the eleventh hour – the pair extended their global distribution agreement in late-July 2011 until the end of that year with just a month remaining on the partnership.
This, of course, came as the relationship between the pair was starting to get pretty heated, with the pair firing salvos at one another over moves by the airline to introduce its Direct-Connect technology to intermediaries.
NB: American Airlines aircraft image via Shutterstock.
Kevin May is editor and a co-founder of Tnooz. He was previously editor of UK-based magazine Travolution for nearly four years and web editor of Media Week UK from 2003 to 2005.
He has also worked in regional newspapers (Essex Enquirer) and started his career in journalism at the Police Gazette at New Scotland Yard in London. He has a degree in criminology and a postgraduate diploma in magazine journalism.