American Airlines requested bankruptcy court approval for settlements to its pending antitrust lawsuits with Travelport and Orbitz on 2 April.
The settlements include payments from Travelport to American, as well as the implementation of a new agreement where the global distribution system (GDS) will access the airline's inventory via American's Direct Connect platform, according to a court filing. This will allow for the sale of ancillary products, including the carrier's premium economy product and preferred seats, via the GDS.
"[The] agreement incorporates amendments to certain existing agreements among American and various Travelport affiliates that will improve the parties' on-going business relationship with respect to the distribution of American's products and services that are critical to American's operations," the Fort Worth-based carrier says in the filing.
"American is an industry leader, and the perfect partner with which to build upon Travelport's airline partnership approach to merchandising, optional ancillary sales and product differentiation," said Dan Westbrook, vice-president and general manager of global distribution sales and service at Travelport, in a statement last month. "All of our subscribers will continue to access American's full content, while American can merchandise its full line of products through Travelport."
Travelport owns a 48% stake in Orbitz, which exclusively uses the GDS' platform for its online sales.
American reached a settlement with Travelport on 12 March and with Orbitz on 29 March. They resolve the antitrust suit filed by the airline in US district court in April 2011 and a suit filed by the GDS in Illinois state circuit court in November 2010.
A US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York hearing on the matter is scheduled for 23 April.