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17 JANUARY 2011
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American Airlines has said in a Texas court filing that Sabre, by reneging on a contract to distribute its tickets, has increased its costs causing a loss of billions of dollars in revenues and “irreparably” damage to its reputation. In the filing the airline laid out a bleak scenario if Sabre is allowed to proceed with plans, announced on 1 January, to terminate its distribution contract with American in August, and raise its fees and downplay its products in the meantime. This follows Expedia’s decision to drop American from its website. See AERBT 10 January 2010.
Sabre, a privately held company that was once owned by American, said: “We are confident that our actions are well within our contractual rights, and we will aggressively defend against American Airlines’ baseless claims to the contrary.”
The filing provides a detailed insight into what has been a fractious but murky dispute between American and various companies that sell its tickets, including fare comparison sites and global distribution systems that connect airlines and travel agents. Both sides argue that what they are doing is in the public interest. www.aa.com
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