Airline Stops Selling Tickets Through Orbitz

American Airlines won court permission to pull its listings from the online travel site Orbitz and will stop displaying and selling tickets through the site, according to Bloomberg.

The Illinois state court decision lifts a temporary restraining order granted in November that prevented American from dropping Orbitz, according to American Airlines.

Kevin Mitchell, chairman of the Business Travel Coalition, a group that represents corporate travel managers and is critical of American's plans, said allowing American Airlines to drop Orbitz marks the "first shot in a long battle that's going to be engaged" by all airlines in 2011.

The airline has developed its own system called Direct Connect that provides fare pricing and options directly to larger online travel agencies. American is also trying to drive more bookings through its own website at AA.com.

Sabre Holdings Corp., the parent of Travelocity.com, said in a statement that American's actions will make it more difficult and costly for agents and consumers to comparison shop among airlines and will result in increased prices.

Revenue earned on American Airlines tickets and associated products such as rental cars accounted for about 5 percent of Orbitz's revenue for the nine months ended in September, and most of the affected ticket volume will be replaced by other suppliers.

Global distribution systems company Travelport said American's plan will result in inefficiencies and added costs.

In addition, Delta Air Lines terminated three online travel sites, CheapOAir.com, OneTravel.com and BookIt.com, as authorized travel agents.

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