Global distribution system bypass and direct connections are not part of Delta Air Lines' distribution strategy, but the carrier is open to them if agencies want them, according to a November 2019 video deposition of Delta managing director of revenue management development Derek Adair aired in court here this week.
Sabre CEO Sean Menke testified at trial here last week that Farelogix's technology enabling global distribution system bypass is not "competitive at all" with Sabre. Indeed, never in his Sabre tenure was Menke concerned about GDS bypass, he testified.
For a new research report released this week, The Beat surveyed travel buyers to untangle the inner workings of one of the most critical, and sometimes complicated, relationships in corporate travel: that between travel buyers and their travel management companies.
The year that ended with Sabre agreeing to buy Farelogix began with Farelogix complaining to European antitrust authorities of a decade-long pattern of anticompetitive behavior among global distribution systems.
When Sabre announced plans to acquire Farelogix in November 2018, United Airlines director of distribution Tye Radcliffe was "horrified," calling it "the stuff of nightmares" and the "worst-case scenario coming true," he testified here Monday in the opening day of trial for the U.S. Department of Justice's suit to block the deal on antitrust grounds. The trial's first witness, American Airlines VP of sales and distribution strategy Cory Garner, meanwhile, fired off an email to company leaders the day the deal went public. In it, he "urged" American to "oppose" the tie-up.
ARC this week announced it had taken a majority stake in NuTravel as part of an omnichannel strategy to better facilitate corporate travel buying through direct airline channels. Delta Air Lines not only backs ARC's vision but also confirmed it is the "global carrier" NuTravel's CEO said is deploying its technology to extend managed travel capabilities like policy management and traveler recognition in direct channels.
The U.S. Department of Justice in August 2019 sued to block Sabre from acquiring Farelogix. Lawyers for DOJ and Sabre are set to face off at trial next week in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, with Judge Leonard P. Stark presiding. The Beat addresses some key questions about the proceedings, the issues in contention and what could happen next.