A Cook County, Ill., circuit judge on Friday approved a temporary restraining order preventing American Airlines from terminating deals with Orbitz Worldwide. AA a few weeks ago notified Orbitz--48 percent-owned by Travelport--of its intention to cancel those agreements, effective Dec. 1. Instead, the parties on Dec. 2 will begin a preliminary injunction hearing in the circuit court to determine each parties' rights. [more]
"We are of course delighted with this decision," according to a Travelport spokeswoman, who noted that she could not provide any additional response. Travelport on Nov. 5 had filed a complaint for declaratory judgment
According to an AA official, the court order served to "temporarily delay the implementation of our decision to terminate our relationship with Orbitz
. We are confident that once the court hears this evidence and is allowed to make a ruling on the full evidence, it will find that our decision to terminate Orbitz is fully consistent with all of our contractual obligations. In the meantime, we will continue to pursue our efforts to bring newer technologies and lower costs to the distribution of our product."American Airlines has claimed that Travelport on Dec. 20 will raise GDS fees
on AA bookings at non-U.S. and non-Caribbean points of sale, which the airline said would force it to apply surcharges on Travelport agency subscribers at those points of sale to cover the added cost. Travelport has not confirmed those changes, but has indicated it would "continue to take appropriate actions in response to any measures AA initiates that discriminate against our customers."