The world’s largest airline, American Airlines Group, pulled its airfare listings from online travel sites operated by Orbitz Worldwide on Tuesday because the companies failed to agree on terms for a new contract.
American said it also will pull U.S. Airways flights starting Sept. 1, cutting thousands of routes and fares from orbitz.com and cheaptickets.com. The news initially sent Orbitz shares down 8.5 percent, but it was recovering in after-hours trading.
American and Orbitz have clashed before over terms, and the latest dispute appeared unlikely to threaten rival online travel companies such as Priceline, Travelocity and Expedia, that continue to post American fares.
An American Airlines spokesman, Josh Freed, said the company reached agreements with some of these sites without a problem.
“In general, our strategy is to make our fares widely available,” Freed said.
Orbitz declined to comment on the talks, but said its sites still carry fares from hundreds of airlines “eager to capture the revenue American is choosing to forgo.”
Both companies noted that Orbitz for Business, which serves business travelers, was not affected by American’s move.
American said it was not able to reach a deal with Orbitz after negotiations that began before American and U.S. Airways completed their merger last December, creating the world’s largest airline.
Customers who bought tickets on orbitz.com or cheaptickets.com will be able to use the tickets for travel. But changes to the reservations must now be made through either the American or U.S. Airways reservations departments, American said.
(Reporting by Alwyn Scott; Editing by Grant McCool)
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