Orbitz Hurt By Dispute With American Airlines

The online travel agency Orbitz Worldwide reported a large quarterly loss of as much as 8 percent after a dispute with American Airlines over distribution methods.

Orbitz is claiming it’s leisure business is being hurt after American Airlines stopped selling tickets on Orbitz in December. On the other had, Orbitz refused to use American Airlines direct connect link.

Orbit Chief Executive Barny Harford says, “We have been able to recapture about half of the American Airlines ticket volume by shifting business to other airlines.”

Orbitz and American Airlines are both willing to negotiate, although American Airlines has the upper hand at this point. Orbitz said 5% of its revenue was from American Airlines, while American Airlines has not suffered any losses.

Orbitz stock is making a slow recovery and economic analyst Aaorn Kessler said, “Orbitz knows it is vital to have every major airline on their platform.”

The overall travel industry has been weakened by an even weaker overall economy. Orbitz, who also operates cheaptickets.com, reported a fourth-quarter net loss of $78 million with shares falling to $3.97 in afternoon trade on Wednesday in the NYSE.

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